Experience the atmosphere of the Tour de France, following the same route as the professionals just one week before them – this is what L’Étape Grand Départ will offer participants on 26th June 2016.
L’Étape Grand Départ is a randosportive open to everyone. It will follow the route of the first stage of the 2016 Tour de France : Mont-Saint-Michel – Utah Beach. To finish the Manche route, the 5,000 participants will arrive in Carentan, the finish line of L’Étape Grand Départ. L’Étape Grand Départ village, situated at Place du Valnoble, will be the epicentre of this event. The 2016 Grand Départ festivities can then begin, a week before the start of the Tour de France.
Roads will be open to traffic, but maximum safety precautions will be taken. Three routes will be possible, to ensure it is accessible to the largest possible number of people: a 189-km route which follows the professional route as closely as possible, a second 80-km route, and a final 44-km route, to make sure the event stays fun and open to all. This randosportive will bring together seasoned amateurs, fans of the Tour, novices and families.
The Manche department offers participants some fantastic views throughout this randosportive. The various circuits will include views of the Bay of Mont Saint Michel, the west coast of France looking over the English Channel, the Normandy countryside and the landing beaches, including Utah Beach, the stage for the 1944 operations.
The experience will continue the week after L’Etape Grand Départ with various events being held around the 2016 Grand Départ: the ceremony presenting the Tour de France teams on Thursday 30th June in Sainte-Mère-Eglise and the first two stages of the 2016 Tour de France (Saturday 2nd July from Mont Saint Michel to Utah Beach and Sunday 3rd July from Saint-Lô to Cherbourg).