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L'Etape du Tour down under

What the French created a decade ago is also part of the Tour down under. It is called the Mutual Community Challenge Tour and the reasonably fit non-racer can enjoy riding the same route as the professionals do on stage four of the 2008 edition of the week long stage race in Australia.

The route is 134 kilometres long and runs between Mannum and Strathalbyn. A less challenging route of 73.5 kilometres is also available for those who can't get their training miles up high enough.

Announcing the new race route today the Minister for Tourism, Hon Jane Lomax-Smith, called upon riders to start practicing soon. "I urge all potential participants seeking fitness and fun to don the lycra and begin training now," she said.

Lomax-Smith was impressed on how the community got behind the event last year and in announced that "this gives our regional areas near Adelaide a brilliant opportunity to throw a party and they always celebrate with a passion."

Last year almost 3,000 riders participated in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour.

Eric Granger, State Manager SA & NT, Mutual Community, indicated that "we are pleased to continue our association with the Challenge Tour, an event that ties in well with our objectives to promote physical activity and healthy living."

"The Mutual Community Challenge Tour is a must for all cyclists, and the new route against a backdrop of the River Murray will provide an exciting and challenging ride for participants," Granger continued.

The 2008 Tour Down Under features an expanded program of festivities, which will include an extra day of racing action.

Registration opens on July 12 2007 as part of the official launch event for the Tour down under, including the announcement of the stages and routes for next January's event. Registration for the recreational cyclists will be through

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