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Estonian president becomes first head of state to complete L’Étape du Tour

George Smith
23 Jul 2019

After capital city launches bike rental scheme, Estonian leader takes part in cycling challenge

The president of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, has become the first head of state to complete L’Étape du Tour in the event’s 26-year history, finishing the 135km course in a time of 8:54:04.

L’Étape du Tour is an annual mass participation event, organised by Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), that sees amateur riders tackle the full route of a single stage of that year’s Tour.

This year riders had to face the daunting course of Saturday’s stage 20, the final mountain stage of this year’s Tour that starts in Albertville and finishes on the 2,365m summit of Val Thorens.

While the 135km distance made it one of the shorter Etapes in recent history, it threw in a massive 4,563m of climbing and the finish line was the highest ever used.

L’Étape, like cycling in general, remains male-dominaned, and Kaljulaid was a part of the small percentage of women who tackled the course this year, making up only 7% of all participants.

The Baltic nation, the fourth most represented at this year’s event, recently launched a bike rental scheme in the capital city of Tallinn as the country continues to support two-wheeled alternatives to driving.

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