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Our man Big Dave has the remote control as the stars take on L'Etape du Tour...

It was the season finale of the Channel 5 reality TV show Tour de Celeb on Monday, which saw the eight contestants take on July's Etape du Tour in the French Alps.

> Tour de Celeb concludes as stars ride L'Etape

Our man Big Dave Atkinson was in charge of the remote control for the evening, as well as the road.cc Twitter account. Here's his verdict - let us know what you think in the comments below and if you missed the series you can catch it all here.

Well, they all made it.

If you were being uncharitable you might point to the fact that the Etape was shortened and the broom wagon cut-off reasonably generous; that worked in Louie Spence’s favour and also that of Hugo Taylor, who spent 45 minutes sitting by the side of the road because he didn’t know how to fix a puncture. Fail to plan, etc and so on.

But credit where credit’s due: everyone got round on a hot day that still included three significant climbs, including the Joux Plane which is generally considered to be no fun at all.

Louie tried to shorten it by walking directly up between the hairpins at one point, but in reality – and indeed on reality TV – that’s probably not any easier.

Who was the star?

Well, Austin Healey smashed round in well under five hours, which is impressive, but he’s not exactly a stranger to two wheels.

Amy Williams, who we bumped into a few times while training around Bath before the Etape this year, knocked the 122km off in a very solid six and a half hours.

And on the subject of very solid things Darren Gough, who’s definitely not built for the hills, came home about an hour after that. That was probably the standout ride of the eight. Jodie Kidd struggled with mechanical issues on her Dassi bike, but made it round well within time.

Lucy Mecklenburgh spent the days before the Etape descending like Bambi crossing the frozen pond and didn’t look comfortable with the crowds, and Angelica Bell stuck to her game plan of walking the steep bits and still managed to make it home in plenty of time.

In the end the blue team of Williams, Gough, Spence and Mecklenburgh edged out the reds by nine minutes, with Taylor’s 45-minute puncture siesta more than the difference between the two.

But in the end the Etape is a personal battle and all eight can be proud that they made it to the finish line; thousands every year don’t.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

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