The Tour de France has values of its own without which it would forfeit not only its sporting credibility but also its unquestionable role at cultural, economic, social and environmental levels.
Withstanding the test of time, these benchmark values encompass the notions of competition, confrontation, surpassing oneself and the final goal of victory.
But not just any competition, nor victory at any price.
As in any sporting activity and as in any other cycling event, but even more so since it is the most prestigious of all, the Tour de France necessarily entails:
Precise rules of which neither the letter nor the spirit must be infringed.
Respect of officials who are responsible for applying these rules and decisions they may have to make.
Equal chances for competitors. Illicitly favouring anyone runs counter to the sporting ethic. It is in this sense that doping, too often present at an ordinary social level, is inadmissible in sport.
Unswerving action in combatting cheating corruption and any form of deal aimed at winning by other than sporting means.
Active backing of the “Cycling and Environment” charter adopted by the International Cyling Union, via informative and hands-on actions aimed both at spectators and those taking part in the Tour de France.
Accepting these principles determines the value and popularity of the Tour de France in the eyes of a public that has been nurtured by exploits and legends down the years.
Today’s champions inherit a tradition founded on the intrinsic moral virtues from which it has been forged.
Regardless of place and performance, every rider is consequently bound to respect these fundamental ethics. Anything less would lead cycling on a perversely downward and decadent path.