More than 500 arrivals athletes and support staff from abroad are expected on the island in November for the L’Étape Cyprus by Tour de France.
The Cypriot edition of the L’Étape by Tour de France series – held under the strict and demanding framework of the leading cycling event – will take place on Sunday November 12 with semi-professional and amateur cyclists taking part.
“Based on the preliminary entries, and considering the increased participation of Cypriot cyclists expected this year, it is predicted that the hotels in the Paphos and Limassol regions will benefit from 2,100 overnight stays during the event. This is a particularly significant number, in the off-peak tourism season, which is proof of the importance of organising major sporting events in Cyprus,” organisers said.
Sports tourism for Cyprus is particularly important for the island as it contributes more than €50 million income annually, they added.
Director of tourism at the deputy ministry of tourism Michalis Metaxas said the race significantly contributes to the positioning of Cyprus on the map of international cycling road races and the “recognition of our country as a cycling destination”.
He added that sports tourism, through attending or participating in sporting events and activities, or hosting teams and athletes for training camps, is a priority for the deputy ministry based on the National Tourism Strategy 2030 and cycling, in particular, is included as a priority sport for Cyprus.
Cyprus is one of 22 countries that host a L’Étape by Tour de France race, and director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme said hosting a race on the island makes a lot of sense.
First, it looks like a perfect destination for cycling enthusiasts with great routes suited to all kinds of riders and amazing landscapes and infrastructures, he said. “Second, we know that cycling is currently booming on the island and the event will offer the ultimate challenge for local riders and will hopefully pave the way to the future participation of a Cypriot rider in the professional Tour de France.”
The start and finish of L’ Étape Cyprus by Tour de France will take place at Aphrodite Hills. The race encompasses two routes: The Race, which is 136km long with a 3,000 metre elevation, and The Ride, which is 62km long with an elevation of 1,300m.