The legendary cycling race L'Étape Greece by Tour de France presented by SKODA has been added to the sports calendar of Greece
More than 650 cyclists from all over the world took part in the great sports festival that placed Ancient Olympia on the podium of world cycling!
In an atmosphere of celebration and with an impressive turnout, the 1st L’Étape Greece by Tour de France presented by SKODA, took place on Saturday, April 1, at the mythical and highly symbolic site of Ancient Olympia. The top cycling race with the stamp of the legendary Tour de France, co-organized by ΕΥ ΖΗΝ Greece and the Region of Western Greece is now a great addition to the sports calendar of our country, while it marks a special moment for cycling in Greece.
At the 1st L’Étape Greece, over 650 female and male cyclists from all over the world tested their endurance on the terrain, following a demanding circular route (The Race 150km or The Ride 75km) around the birthplace of the Olympic Games against the backdrop of the magnificent nature of the western Peloponnese. Pioneer cyclists pushed their limits, combining physical and mental endurance, speed, strategy and, of course, passion for cycling. In this effort, the contribution of the 100 volunteers who encouraged them during the route and contributed to the smooth and safe conduct of the major cycling event according to the high global standards of the Tour de France was decisive.
Didi “The Devil”, the mascot of the Tour de France worldwide, was also present at L'Étape Greece, as he has been faithfully following the cycling event for 30 years! Wearing the characteristic red uniform of the devil, the German Didi Senft started the race together with the chief shoemaker, while he welcomed the athletes and gymnasts at the finish arch, giving the audience unique photographic moments.
On Sunday, April 2, the legend of L'Étape Greece was also lived by the children, as they put on their helmets and cycor alone in the Kids Race. The weekend of the young cyclists and their companions who came from Athens or the surrounding area combined the excursion with the exciting activity of cycling in the landscape of Ancient Olympia.
Almost 2,000 young and old visitors found themselves in the wider area and lived the L'Étape experience up close. Throughout the event, the entire region was in a festive mood, with residents, professionals and the Ilia Police Department embracing the popular race that has captivated millions of spectators in 21 countries around the world for three decades – with Greece is the 22nd country on the roster of the event.
The big winners
In The Race 150km, in the women's category, Nadia Syntzanaki finished first, winning the coveted yellow jersey, which is the highest award in the world of cycling. Anastasia Tsourouktzi came second, followed by Efstratia Papadopoulou. All three athletes of the final trio also won their participation in L'Étape du Tour 2024. Among the men, the yellow jersey was won by Giorgos Bouglas, a member of the Skoda Cycling Team, who finished first. They were followed by Miltiadis Giannoutsos, Nikolaos Papagiannakis and Zisis Soulios, ensuring their participation in L'Étape du Tour 2024.
In the shortest competitive route, The Ride 75km, Katerina Malamou finished first among the women, climbing to the podium with the yellow jersey. They were followed by Georgia Klironomou in second place and Danae Moraiti in third place. In the men's category, the cyclist who wore the yellow jersey is Polychronis Tzortzakis from the Skoda Cycling Team, followed by Minas Malatos and Antonis Tsoukalochoritis, in second and third place respectively.
Along with the cyclists, the site of Ancient Olympia emerged as a big winner. Mr. Nektarios Farmakis, Regional Governor of Western Greece, noted: "The experience of L'Étape Greece was unique for all of us. The Olympic Land was associated with a top sporting event that was completed with great success and opens new avenues in the further promotion of cycling sports and cycling tourism in Western Greece". Following, Mr. Dimitris Nikolakopoulos, Deputy Regional Governor for Sports, Volunteerism and Olympism, added: "Wonderful cycling moments, where else, in the birthplace of sports and culture! L'Étape Greece by Tour de France is hosted for the first time in Ancient Olympia and is here to stay. It is a truly magical experience. Congratulations to the organizers and contestants! We look forward to the next big event in our country."
According to Mr. Giorgos Georgiopoulos, Mayor of Ancient Olympia: "It was a perfect event of a high level, which I believe satisfied the hundreds of athletes who participated as well as the numerous spectators who watched it. As the Municipality of Ancient Olympia, we also contributed to the success of the 1st L'Étape Greece. Olympia would be ideal to host the next match as well, in 2024, the year of the 33rd Olympic Games.
Mrs Vasia Birliraki, Managing Director of EY ZHN Greece, said: "We are proud to have carried out a legendary event in one of the most interesting regions of the country. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the Region of Western Greece who stood by us as a co-organizer throughout the preparation and implementation, our sponsors who embraced the event with real care, the Hellenic Cycling Federation who was present without thinking, the Municipal Authorities of Ancient Olympia and Pyrgos and especially the tireless team of EY ZHN Greece.
Our country has nothing to envy other corresponding countries in hosting events of such a level and specifications that not only give visibility to the regions, but also lengthen the tourist season. We are lucky to have had a visionary and willing operator on board. We look forward to the next event."
Mr. Manos Drakotos, SKODA Sales & Marketing Director of Kosmocar highlighted the company's close and timeless relationship with the Tour de France: "Skoda's history is inextricably linked to cycling since the company was founded, which continues with the most practical way even nowadays. Since 2004 when Skoda became the official vehicle partner of the Tour de France, dozens of its vehicles have been at the forefront of cycling's premier race. L'Étape Greece by Tour de France presented by SKODA gave us the opportunity to highlight Skoda's commitment to cycling in our country as Official Mobility Partner with the Skoda Enyaq iV which was the official car of the event".
The great success of the 1st L'Étape Greece by Tour France since the first-year seals the importance of sports tourism for the development of the regions and for the empowerment of the community that shares unique moments and emotions through sports. At the same time, it prescribes a bright future for the organization which, as everything testifies, is expected to become an institution. See you at the 2nd L'Étape Greece, in 2024!
Stay in touch with L’Étape Greece by Tour de France on the following channels: