Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal


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In 1993 L’Étape du Tour (“a stage of the tour” in French) was created to give amateur cyclists an opportunity to live and experience for themselves Le Tour de France. Each year, up to 15 000 cyclists are invited to ride one of the mountain stages of Le Tour de France: the same stage towns, the same routes, the same mythical climbs but also, and above all, the same race conditions as on Le Tour de France.

And because the love of cycling knows no borders, and Le Tour de France itself is a giant, L’Étape du Tour has given rise to several other races around the world, offering you even more stunning landscapes in the same race conditions as Le Tour de France.







Beginning in 2nd of April 2017, South Africa will join the nine other countries in hosting its own version of L’Étape du Tour in Midlands, KwaZulu Natal. Each May, L’Étape South Africa will provide the closest experience an amateur rider can get to competing in Le Tour de France. The challenging route will be endorsed by Le Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme, and will traverse a varied topography through the beautiful South African countryside. The event will be held under race conditions meaning, just like on Le Tour de France, the route is dedicated to the rider on fully-closed roads.

L’Étape South Africa by Le Tour de France will provide a new, unique dimension to the South African cycling calendar not only in replicating L’Étape du Tour in format, look and feel but also in that the route and event location will change each year. L’Étape South Africa is firstly an immense sporting challenge, but it is also a tourist adventure that will enable you to ride and discover some of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. Each edition of L’Étape South Africa will present participating cyclists with a new challenge to test their skills and will aim to entrench the event as the most demanding of all L’Étape events, after all the event is billed as “L’Étape. Le Tough!”


Discover the Route

Starting and finishing at the Mandela Capture Site in Lions River, the route will explore the Midlands Meander and touch the foothills of the Drakensberg with a total ascent of 1630m. The route map will be revealed on 22 November!

5 – 8 HRS


Entries for L’Etape South Africa open on 08:00 on Tuesday 22 November 2016 and will close on Sunday 19 March 2017. The total number of entries is limited, so please enter early. Participants can chose to enter as individuals or as teams.

Entries for L’Étape South Africa will be managed by Race Tech.

Individual Entry Cost

Individual Entry: R 990

Team Entries

As in Le Tour de France, teams may enter L’Etape South Africa. Teams for L’Étape South Africa will consist of six riders. Teams of more than six riders may enter the team competition however, only the first six riders’ times will be counted towards the Team Prize.

Included in your entry

Race registration

Fully closed roads

Le Tour de France professional race conditions

Timed Race

Official L’Étape T-shirt on registration collection

Team Area (to be set up at team’s own cost)

On route support, including medical and mechanical support

Three Feeding Zones with food, water, toilets, medical and mechanical support and transport for riders and bikes for those who wish to stop riding

Two Drinking Zones

Timed Sprint section

Timed King of the Mountain section

Race Finishers Medal

Pasta Meal at end of the Race

Team Entry Cost

Team Entry (team of 6): R 950 pp and R 990 for every additional team member thereafter


L’Etape South Africa is classified as an amateur event

All Jersey and prize winners must have completed their route in the allowed time to be eligible for awards.


Participants in L’Étape South Africa will be provided the unique opportunity of competing for the authentic Le Tour de France jerseys.

Individual Prizes


Overall Male and Female Winners of L’Etape South Africa will win entry and all-expenses paid travel and accommodation to compete in 2017 L’Etape du Tour in France

Additional Prizes

Participants in L’Étape South Africa will be provided the unique opportunity of competing for the authentic Le Tour de France jerseys.

The Yellow Jersey 

will be presented to the overall male and female winners.

The Green Jersey

will be awarded to the male and female winners of the sprint section

The Polka-Dot Jersey

will be presented to the male and female winners of the King of the Mountain

The White Jersey

will be presented to the fastest overall male and female in the Race aged 25 years or less on the day of the event.

Start and Finish

The start and finish of L’Etape South Africa will be at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Lions River.


Start Time

Sunday 2nd April 2017 from 6am to 8am

Participants have a maximum of 10hrs to finish the race

Race Pack Collection Dates and times

Friday 31st March 2017 from 10am to 8pm

Saturday 1st April 2017 from 10am to 8pm


30km Nottingham Road

10:00 AM

60km Kamberg

12:00 PM


2:00 PM

110km Mooiriver

3:30 PM

130km Nottingham Road

5:00 PM

160km Finish

6:00 PM

In addition to the Nelson Mandela Capture site, the route will take in the majestic Midlands Meander, a scenic route featuring arts, craft, restaurants and various places of interest.


  • Balgowan Valley

    The route climbs up the R103 and passes through the Balgowan Valley home of the internationaly renowned boys school, Michaelhouse.

  • Lidgetton

    Home to the famous Piggly Wiggly Farm Stop and St Ives, Lidgetton is the first major point of interest along the Midlands Meander route.

  • Nottingham Road

    Towards the peak of the first climb lies Nottingham Road, a popular trout fishing destination and home to the Nottingham Road Brewing Company.

  • Rosetta

    Entering Mpofana Municipality, Rosetta is blessed with dramatic views of the Drakensberg and some of the most spectacular waterfalls in KwaZulu-Natal.

  • Spring Grove Dam

    Officially opened in 2013, the new Spring Grove Dam not only provides water to the surrounding area, it also adds a new, dramatic feature to the landscape.

  • Kamberg Nature Reserve

    From Rosetta our route heads towards Kamberg Nature Reserve, home of the Kamberg Rock Art Centre where the first South African rock art was found, then introduced to the world in 1915.

  • Mooiriver uKhahlamba-Drakenberg

    Visible along the route is the awe-inspiring uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park whose name, uKhahlamba, means ‘barrier of spears’ in isiZulu or ‘dragon mountains’ in Afrikaans.Mooi River takes its name from the Afrikaans description of its river meaning “pretty”. In Zulu, however, the river is named Mpofana, meaning “Place of the Eland”.

Race Collection

Race numbers can be collected in the Village set up at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Lion’s River on Friday 31 March and Saturday 01 April 2017 (the precise address of the village will be posted on the race’s website –– as well in the newsletters sent to participants).   No race numbers will be distributed on Sunday, the day of the race. Race numbers and timing chips will be distributed when you present the confirmation of your registration, proof of your identity, your license or a medical certificate. Race numbers will not be sent by post. Each competitor must collect his race number personally. The allocation of a race number is firm and definitive.


About the Village

The Village is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a memorable and unique experience. The Village will be set up on the fields surrounding the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2nd April and will be used for:

  • Race number collection
  • Cycling Expo
  • VIP Hospitality
  • A giant screen, food market and entertainment will be laid out for cyclists and their supporters

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a cultural and historical exhibition that is situated at the site at which Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts in August 1952.

A monument comprised of 50 steel columns up to 9.5 metres in height and up to 30 metres in width was created in honour of Nelson Mandela’s efforts was created at the site by Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose and forms an image of the former president. The columns line up so that, at a specific angle, they create what seems to be a two-dimensional image of Mr Mandela. As the sun changes its position above the monument, the effect of the tall beams on the ground also changes.

The uMngeni Municipality has formal plans to establish an amphitheatre, theatre, museum and arts and crafts centre at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. This will uplift the local community, creating more job opportunities, and will promote tourism to this part of the beautiful KwaZulu Natal Midlands.

Race Pack Collection Dates and times

Friday 31st March 2017 from 10am to 8pm

Saturday 1st April 2017 from 10am to 8pm

Start Time

Sunday 2nd April 2017 from 6am to 8am

Participants have a maximum of 10hrs to finish the race


More than 30 partners and exhibitors will be present to advise cyclists and to present their latest innovations.   

To enquire about booking space at the expo, please email at




About Midlands

The Midlands Meander in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, is a collection of arranged routes that offer visitors hospitality in truly beautiful surroundings, outstanding accommodation, conference and wedding facilities, fascinating local events, fabulous cuisine and restaurants, revitalising outdoor activities and over-the-top adventure sports, historic landmarks, wildlife conservation, and best of all “shop-till-you-drop” unique arts and crafts. An easy one-hour drive from Durban and four and a half hours on the N3 highway from Johannesburg, there is much to explore and do in the Midlands.

Book Accommodation

If you have any queries about Letape de tour, please contact the race office  on 087-820-4210, send email to or fill the form below.

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