1 degree and snow – winter has arrived early in Europe. As I sit here typing this, trying to warm up from my ride outside I find myself dreaming of the Aussie Summer. There are so many things (besides the warmer weather) that I love – and first on the summer list for the last two years has been L’Étape Australia.
It will be no secret to you by now that I love the climbs so the terrain that the Snowy Mountains offers is the kind of stuff my dreams are made of. I couldn’t think of a better place to host this event. More than that though, the Snowy Mountains is a region that absolutely embraces having this event and really welcomes the thousands of cyclists (and their supporters) venturing down there for the weekend. The drive to Jindabyne already gets my excitement levels rising as I notice that almost every car has at least one bike on the roof or the back. Passing through Berridale and seeing the town decorated with bikes and jerseys on the streets and shop windows always warrants a stop for photos and a look around. On the road again and there is no second-guessing when you arrive in Jindabyne and see the yellow decorations everywhere. Tour de France fever – In Australia – I love it!
I’m excited this year that both the ride and the race will be starting and finishing in Jindabyne. It will be great to have the village and all of the activities based out of there. I like the course changes too – it will provide some different challenges for those of us who have ridden the last two years but still keeps some aspects that have become iconic in just two years. Col de Beloka – I’m talking about you! It’s safe to say that L’Étape Australia would not be the same without this steep monster. Just think of it as one collective mass of suffering. It’s also great that we still get to climb the Col de Kosciusko – of course I love the uphill but I must admit I am equally excited about the descent back down – a great reward for conquering the climb!
Above all I love L’Étape Australia for the way it brings together cyclists for a great weekend away and a great day on the bike. I’ve spoken a lot about the cycling community but it is a community that I feel lucky and grateful to be a part of. As a female it’s important for me to be encouraging other females onto the bike so I really love seeing so many ladies taking up the challenge of L’Étape Australia. This year I am also excited to be able to meet some of you before the event at my Ladies Ride in Sydney on November 17th. If you haven’t seen the details for this then make sure you head over to the L’Étape Australia Facebook page to see how you can be involved. I can’t wait to enjoy a pedal and share some great conversations with great coffee and food guaranteed. Above all I’m looking forward to learning more about all of you and taking some inspiration for myself to help conquer L’Étape Australia 2018.
Always a team player, it is common to see Amanda sacrificing herself for her teammates.
The 2012 and 2016 Australian road race champion is known for her big heart and big engine. Amanda recorded her first European victory at the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Sudtirol in 2015 and has taken a big step up as a leader in the outfit following the retirement on Loes Gunnewijk.
Amanda won the silver medal at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships.