Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organiser of Le Tour de France, and Buyu Sport & Entertainment, the newly formed event-ownership division of Octagon South Africa, have announced an exclusive strategic partnership to bring Le Tour de France Official Events to South Africa.
L’Etape South Africa by Le Tour de France, will come to the country in May 2017 and is a premier amateur road cycling event, held under the banner of the world’s most iconic cycling race, Le Tour de France. L’Etape du Tour (French for ‘a stage of the tour’) was established in 1993 by ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) to allow cyclists to experience a stage of Le Tour de France first-hand. ASO has since extended the L’Etape concept internationally bringing the unique Tour de France experience to Australia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and United Kingdom and from May 2017, South Africa.
Sports and cycling fans will be immersed in the great atmosphere of Le Tour de France as L’Etape will be operated under professional race conditions and will replicate a stage of Le Tour de France. Up to 5,000 amateur cyclists will be invited to participate in the race with riders competing for the legendary Tour de France yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys.
Amaury Sport Organisation General Manager Yann Le Moënner declared: “It seems like South African cycling is breaking away from the peloton these days: 2015 already was a historical year for Le Tour de France as it welcomed its first African team on board in MTN-Qhubeka (which has since been renamed “Team Dimension Data” and “Dimension Data for Qhubeka”). With Tour de France 2013, 2015 and 2016 winner Chris Froome having spent years and been introduced to cycling in South Africa as well as numerous teams traveling to South Africa for their winter training and a major sponsor in Dimension Data partnering with Le Tour de France since 2015, the cycling planet has recognised South Africa as a land of cycling. For the first time in history, South African cycling enthusiasts will be offered the excitement of Le Tour de France; we are proud and happy of this new grand premiere!”
Buyu Sport & Entertainment and Octagon South Africa Managing Director Bonga Sebesho said: “L’Etape South Africa by Le Tour de France is a major coup for us. Buyu Sport & Entertainment represents Octagon’s entry into the event-ownership space and L’Etape will be a major catalyst for this division. We relish the challenge of presenting an event run at international professional standards for South Africa’s ever growing field of amateur cyclists and establishing this event as a must-do cycle experience. L’Etape is a fantastic opportunity for competitive cyclists to be part of worldwide cycling movement with L’Etape taking place in nine countries. It is our aim to position the South Africa event as the most challenging one of all the L’Etapes.”