The traditional presentation ceremony of the Tour de France course, organised at the Palais des Congrès of Paris, symbolically marks the kick off of the next edition. The map of the stages will this year be unveiled Wednesday the 22nd of October by Christian Prudhomme, with the presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco, who will welcome the “Grand Départ” of the event in the Principality. The three last winners, Carlos Sastre, Alberto Contador and Oscar Pereiro will also be present, as well as several candidates for the 2009 title.
For the first time, the presentation of the Tour will be broadcasted live on the official website www.letour.fr, where internet users will be able to discover, like the journalists and guests present in the auditorium, the course with the commentary of Christian Prudhomme. The show will begin at 11:30 AM.
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On several occasions, ARD has asked the organisers of the Tour de France to take all the appropriate measures to fight against doping.
For several years, the organisers of the Tour de France have focused on conducting a merciless battle against doping. The last edition of the Tour was controlled by the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD, French Anti Doping Agency), an independant organisation. 7 riders were convinced of doping and were excluded from the cycling packs. Pierre Bordry, President of the AFLD declared to the AFP on the 14th of October : "the big majority was not doped".
ARD asks us to fight against doping but is offended when we find guilty riders. We should look and not find. We regret the withdrawal of ARD, thinking of the hundreds of thousands of Germans that welcome the Tour each time it crosses the Rhine River.
By its decision, ARD could unfortunately urge those who fight against doping to stop the battle just to insure a broadcast. Whatever happens, the 2009 Tour will be broadcasted in Germany: ZDF that hasn't taken a decision is currently studying the consequences of ARD's withdrawal and the German viewers will be able to follow the Tour on Eurosport.
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Carlos Sastre, winner of the decisive stage on the way to the Alpe-d’Huez, then managed to stay clear of the Evans menace by only conceding 29” to his main rival in the final time-trial of the Tour. On the Champs-Élysées, he became the seventh Spanish winner of the Tour de France, after Bahamontes (1959), Ocana (1973), Delgado (1988), Indurain (1991, 92, 93, 94, 95), Pereiro (2006) and Contador (2007).
Main favourites at the start in Brest, winners of Classics converted to tough stage races and even a young French rider during a time-trial, had the privilege of carrying the yellow jersey. A total of seven riders took their turn in the lead of the GC. That’s not as many as during the 1958 and 1987 editions that still have the record with eight different yellow jerseys, but the 2008 event still enters the history books at the same level as the 2006 Tour.
The seven Yellow Jerseys of the 2008 Tour
Since the start in Brest, the leader pf the CSC Team remained rather quiet. The Spaniard rode at an “economical pace, doing a minimum of what he had to do during the Cholet time-trial, remaining with the best through the Pyrenees without trying to trouble them… The strategy was actually well defined: it was in the climb up the Alpe-d’Huez that Sastre was to hit hard. A predictable intention. On the road, the demonstration was quite simply perfect. Before even making it to the first bend, he broke away from the group of favourites and climbed his way to destiny. Meanwhile, the Schleck brothers’ duo paralysed all the other contenders. Once at the resort, his main rivals had lost over 1’30 in the GC. A gap that still looked slim. However…
The French clan is still lacking of a legitimate candidate for the first positions in the GC. They have however a huge contingent of strong cavaliers, ready to take all the necessary risks and try their luck for the prestige of a stage victory on the Tour de France. Three of them managed to link inspiration and efficiency. Samuel Dumoulin, winner at Nantes after a long break from which Romain Feillu captured the yellow jersey, showed the way to his compatriots. It was then in the mountains, just after reaching the top of the Tour (la Bonette, 2802 m), that Cyril Dessel managed to outsmart his three breakaway companions in the downhill and clinch the win. A fierce battler, Sylvain Chavanel witnessed quite a few frustrations but still kept on believing in his stage winner’s destiny. He conquered his Grail on the road to Montluçon during the final regular stage that remained within his reach.
The phenomenon was expected, based on a reputation also born on the track. He still had to battle it out with all the best sprinters on the roads of the Tour. In 2007, his experience had finished early. This year, once launched, the Cavendish rocket proved to be the best of what the pack had to offer in terms of speed and final straights. In Châteauroux, then in Toulouse and in Narbonne, “Cav” impressed by his ease and power. And in Nîmes, place of his fourth stage success, it was close to magic. With 500 metres to go, Cavendish looked to be trapped. But added to his power, he made the best of his skill to find the winning path. Many talk of a new McEwen! Meanwhile, he is the first to win four sprints in a same edition since Mario Cipollini in 1999.
A designated favourite of the Tour after his second spot in the previous edition behind Contador, the Australian however has the reputation of a modern day Poulidor. But unlike the former great, Evans can always say that he wore the yellow jersey during five days. In the stage going to Hautacam, the Silence-Lotto leader wasn’t that eager to capture the main honour and the responsibility that goes with it. It was only thanks to a one second lead over Frank Schleck that he took command of the GC at the summit. The operation to re-conquer the Yellow Jersey that looked highly possible in the final time-trial at Saint-Amand-Montrond, where he took off with a 1’34” deficit on Sastre, failed. That was probably due to three weeks of a very demanding race, to a fall at the beginning of the Tour that would be finally tough to deal with, to the strength of the CSC leader… or the curse of second spot!
The Village, such a nice place… This is the venue where riders, partners, local authorities, guests and journalists meet in the friendly atmosphere that typically defines the Tour de France. There is no better place than the Village to meet people, to read the daily press, to have a nice morning coffee and to attend the medal-giving ceremonies. The Village has become the place to go before each stage, until the bell rings to call the beginning of the stage. The Village celebrates its 20th anniversary this year …
The Tour enters the era of real time. This year, the Tour de France will not start with a time-trial. Moreover, the time bonuses disappear from the 2008 edition: no time bonuses when crossing the finish line of the 21 stages or for the intermediate sprints. As a consequence, the first rider who crosses the finish line and wins the first stage in Plumelec will wear the yellow jersey on the next day! And the itinerary of the first stage could definitely give us a surprising winner…
Each event to its own media. The Tour de France grew up with the written press. It settled in our dwellings thanks to the radio and conquered the world with television. The race now has its numerous followers on the Web. The official website of the Tour de France www.letour.fr received over 4,7 millions visitors in 2007 and has been further developed for this edition. The focus was put on the increased availability of video content on the website.
During the stages, cycling fans can log on to the website and follow the race Live by checking the time differences between various riders and read the news flashes that are regularly posted on letour.fr. You will now have access to a video space on the website where you will find all the images of the race (stage summaries, etc.), interviews, video footage of the Tour behind the scenes, presentations of the teams and towns. About 30 minutes of video footage will be available everyday.
Google has selected the route of the 2008 Tour de France to present the premier images of the new service "StreetView" of Google Maps in Europe. Now internet users can visualize at 360 degrees the roads of the principal stages of the Tour de France. Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, reacted positively immediately after seeing the new component of Google Maps. "It is a new way for followers of the Tour to put themselves in the environment of the race; to locate the mountains and roads which will decide the champions, to find exactly the perfect place on the road where it will be ideal to wait to watch the peloton pass... I am certain that the spectators and television viewers will fully exploit this surprising new tool. I am delighted that, just like the Tour does, it will expose the regions of France."
Thanks to this new collaboration with the French Audiovisual Institute, letour.fr proposes its visitors to travel across time and rediscover the history of the Tour de France. The data base comprises archives dating back to the 1947s and permits to make a search for pictures of Bobet, Coppi and even Merckx. Those who were stirred when watching the feat of Bernard Hinault or the eight-second victory of Greg LeMong over Laurent Fignon will have the possibility to relive these major events of cycling history. A customised version of the INA search engine has been installed on letour.fr.
Some of the TV channels that acquired the rights to broadcast the Tour de France have chosen to provide their viewers with special programmes on their websites. For instance, France Télévisions proposes a live streaming application on www.france2.fr, as well as ARD-ZDF (Germany), RTL (Luxemburg), TV2 (Denmark)… To respect the rights of the channels that purchased TV rights from A.S.O., the access to such services will be geolocalised.
More and more cities in France, in the neighbouring countries and even from around the world are sending in their applications to host a stage or the Great Start of the Tour de France. Between 35 and 40 towns are usually "accommodated" every year, but this year the organizers have received 226 applications. As Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme explains, "We have never received so many applications. Last year we had 220 requests before the presentation and then about 30 dropped out".
The increasing number of cities willing to organise the Great Start of the Tour de France is caused by the "London effect" where the 2007 Tour de France started. Christian Prudhomme adds: "Of course, we feel the "London effect". After London, many towns have contacted us. Qatar officially applied, but also Budapest. Moreover, we had an application from Japan, Turkey sent an information request and Quebec contacted us again. We even had contacts with Estonia! Above all, I am pleased with their enthusiasm! I recently went to Utrecht, in the Netherlands. To prove their enthusiasm, the mayor of the city had the bells of the cathedral play the French anthem for 30 minutes! And Utrecht is a city with 300,000 people…"
Riders born in Brittany have always been quite numerous in the bunch of the Tour de France, since the beginning. This year, one of the former riders, born in 1914, will pay a visit to the 2008 riders when they cross his hometown, Auray. Although his best result was 7th on 1950, Pierre Cogan tasted victory through his team leader as he contributed to the final victory of Jean Robic in 1947. Pierre Cogan also stood out for his longevity: he raced the Tour de France seven times in 16 years and is now the oldest of the former Tour de France riders. As a token of gratitude, Pierre Cogan will receive a special medal from the Tour de France in the framework of the events organised for the start of the second stage between Auray and Saint-Brieuc.
Just like Skoda and Sagem, PMU, Brandt and Antargaz have decided to extend their partnerships with the Tour de France. In doing so, the numerous partners of the Tour de France prove once again that they endorse the attempt of A.S.O. to clear the image of cycling and that they are ready to support it. The efforts of A.S.O. have also been acknowledged by the fact that new companies have joined the Tour de France this year, such as Vittel (on the finish line) and Ricoré (in the publicity caravan).
Brest has been living for the Tour for several weeks. Three conferences have been organized around the Tour de France. These “cafés cyclistes” enabled people to debate about the use of bicycles in Brittany. A bicycle ride was also organized on the itinerary of the first stage of the 2008 Tour de France with several hundreds of participants. And an exhibition drew many people at the Bellevue multimedia library… This week, several events will punctuate the life of Brest's inhabitants until the beginning of the race:
Every year, the Tour de France is the event where new technologies are used by professional riders. The latest development in 2008 deals with the appearance the 11-speed cassettes on the rear wheels of the bikes equipped by Italian manufacturer Campagnolo (one rider in each of the seven teams using the Italian equipment). According to Professor Casterot, the gear expert of French magazine Vélo Mag, this development will not necessarily be more advantageous for the true climbers. It could actually be more adapted to intermediate climbs: “with the traditional cassettes, you directly go from 15 to 17 teeth. And this is where they managed to add the missing 16-teeth plate which did not exist before. So this will be helpful for some sections of the itinerary, as everybody chooses 25 teeth in the rear for the steepest climbs.”. Rumour has it that Shimano could entrust some riders with the famous electrical derailleur that some technology fans have been dreaming of for years. According to those who tried it, this solution has the advantage of changing gear faster.
The youngest riders are also present on the Tour de France. For each stage, eight beginners and/or juniors have been selected by the official local cycling clubs of the French Cycling Federation. These young riders wearing the colours of "Culture Vélo" will first be introduced to the public by Daniel Mangeas, the official speaker of the Tour de France, and will then ride the first and last 30 km of the day's itinerary.
Seven would-be reporters have been selected to follow the 2008 Tour de France. What's new, these teenagers will discover the Tour and the job of professional journalists. They will have to edit videos and a four-page publication every two days. Their work will be available in the press room as well as on the websites partnering this operation (velo101.com, culturevelo.com, letour.fr). Pascal Arnal (Culture Vélo), who is in charge of the team with Julien Perrot (velo101.com), says the special reporters are very likely to take a liking to the video cameras: “We will produce interviews, small reports with easy editing methods. I know they are really anxious to learn and I am sure that in week 2 of the race they will provide good quality videos with properly framed pictures”.
This year 92 TV channels will broadcast the Tour de France in 180 countries, of which 168 will provide live coverage of the race (a first for the Philippines, for instance). France Télévisions also produces the pictures broadcast worldwide. The French television company will also provide French viewers with an exhaustive coverage of the race. France Télévisions also actively supported the first HD broadcast of the Tour de France in 2007, a convincing experience.
Starting on Saturday morning, the viewers of the Tour de France will enjoy the comments of their loyal commentators, during a good part of the month of July. Seven stages, including the very first stage between Brest and Plumelec and the last stage between Etampe and the Champ-Élysées in Paris, will be broadcast in full on French TV, which is very rare. The French live comments will be provided by two French journalists and two former French champions: Laurent Fignon (in the media area at the arrival) and Laurent Jalabert (on a motorbike). Various TV shows will exclusively focus on Tour de France during this three-week-long event. French viewers will enjoy the numerous race summaries and analyses. They will see how the Tour works backstage, etc.
In addition to JSports (Japan) and France TV, the pioneers providing HD broadcast in 2007, five new channels have decided to provide the utmost HD experience for the live coverage of the 2008 Tour de France… Eurosport, NOS (The Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), Sky TV (New Zealand) and TV2 (Denmark) have set up a special channel for their HD viewers.
French star TV anchor Michel Drucker is a huge cycling fan. The Frenchman has become a regular visitor on the Tour de France and organises a major TV show (Tour en fête) before the beginning of the “Grande Boucle”. After Carcassonne in 2006 and Albi in 2007, the French TV icon has chosen Brest to celebrate cycling and the sea. The TV show will be filmed at the Oceanopolis of Brest, a research and exhibition centre dedicated to the sea. The show will be broadcast Live on July 4 and will feature former Breton rider Ronan Pensec and 5-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault. Drucker will also pay tribute to French sailor Éric Tabarly who disappeared at sea ten years ago. The show will also honour Brittany, the sea and will feature a bunch of singers.
Laurent Voulzy, Jenifer, Line Renaud, Isabelle Boulay, Georges Moustaki, Sofia Essaidi, I Muvrini in duet with Tina Arena, Michaël Gregorio, Murray Head, Rabbi Jacob, Miossec, Martin Solveig, Gérard Holtz, Nelson Monfort with their group “La télé qui chante”, Alan Stivell, Hugues Aufray, Bagade de Lann Bihoué, Jacky Guilbert, Tex.
PARIS (June 16th, 2008) – Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), owners respectively of the Tour de France and the Amgen Tour of California, have formed a multi-dimensional marketing partnership to grow and develop each other’s events it was announced by Yann Le Moenner, Deputy Director, Amaury Sport Organisation S.A. (A.S.O.), Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France and Andrew Messick, President, AEG Sports.
Beginning with the upcoming 2008 Tour de France and 2009 Amgen Tour of California, the multi-year agreement calls for the organizations to develop and initiate comprehensive cross promotional platforms for the world’s most prestigious cycling event and America’s most successful cycling race as well as provide assistance with media and sponsorship sales for the races in their respective regions.
“Being able to partner with one of the leading sports and entertainment group in the United States is a great privilege for A.S.O.” said Yann Le Moenner. “AEG’s success in developing and promoting properties like the Los Angeles Galaxy team with David Beckham as well as, among others, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, will greatly benefit the Tour de France in the United States.”
“The Tour of California, which will celebrate its 4th anniversary in February 2009, is still a brand new event on the cycling calendar but one with a promising future ahead of it” added Christian Prudhomme. “Here at A.S.O. we are particularly pleased to be able to provide this event with our support and our recognised skills and know-how established through the organisation of centenary events, such as the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège…But we believe that it is also our duty to participate in the worldwide promotion and expansion of the sport of cycling and the development of constantly evolving new races, like the Tour of California.”
Among the key components of the agreement, A.S.O. will assist AEG with the international distribution of the Amgen Tour of California television and digital media rights. A.S.O. will develop, produce and distribute a portfolio of programming formats including live coverage of the race. Additionally, AEG will be assisting A.S.O. with the sales of specific sponsorship packages designed for partners looking for the ability to communicate through cycling’s most prestigious brand in the United States.
“AEG is delighted to be able to partner with the Amaury Sport Organization, who is without doubt the world’s most experienced and successful organizer of bicycle races,” said Messick. “With their help, we hope to be able to help to grow the sport of cycling, the Tour de France, and of course our Amgen Tour of California.”
The partnership will be focused on the support and development of each organization’s race and will leverage all marketing assets and media associated with each event including on-site visibility as well as broadcast components.
ABOUT THE TOUR DE FRANCE
This year, the Tour de France will start on July 5th from Brest to finish in Paris on the prestigious Avenue of the Champs-Élysées on July 27th (www.letour.com).
ABOUT THE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Created in 2006, it is America’s most successful cycling race. The Amgen Tour of California is an eight-day professional cycling competition staged across many of California’s most scenic state highways, roadways and coastline drives. In addition to being one of the United States’ most recognized annual sports events, the international, world-class road race has offered the highest prize purse of any cycling race in North America in each of its first three years.
A.S.O. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Media Group “EPA”, Édition Philippe Amaury. Created in September 1992, A.S.O. is specialised in the organisation of renowned sports events, such as the Tour de France, the Dakar and the Paris Marathon. Over the last few years, the company has expanded, A.S.O. having intensified its activities in cycling (Paris-Nice, Tour of Qatar, Tour du Faso) and taken up new disciplines, such as golf (the Open de France, the oldest tournament on the European continent) and equestrian sports (creating for the occasion a yearly event christened R.I.D.E.: Rencontres Internationales des Disciplines Équestres) and has just launched the Merrell Oxygen Challenge (Out Door Event, trail and Mountain bike).
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, a Major League Lacrosse team, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production.
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On the occasion of the press conference that was held on Tuesday the 3rd of June in Paris in the presence of Bernard Laporte, State Secretary for Youth, Sports and Associative Life who confirmed his support to the French Cycling Federation and the Tour de France, Amaury Sport Organisation wished to give details on the conditions of the unfolding of the next Tour de France.
The Tour de France will be organised, based on the French law, under the control of the French Cycling Federation from the 5th to the 27th of July. Its president, Jean Pitallier, present during the conference, had however initiated a final settlement attempt with the UCI in order to register the Tour on the international calendar. This attempt remained vain and placed the Tour de France in a situation of exception.
Like during the last edition of Paris-Nice, the FFC will therefore be guarantor of the respect of rules and send race officials authorized to register and approve the results and responsible during the three weeks of the competition, and of the good sporting unfolding of the event.
As has announced its President, Pierre Bordry, the anti-doping controls will be organised by the French Anti Doping Agency. The AFLD will deal with and manage the controls before and during the event, like it has done so during the last Paris-Nice.
The 2008 Tour de France registers itself in a totally legal frame and A.S.O., based on the success of the last Paris-Nice, wishes to insure the riders, teams, partners and fans of the quality of the organisation that will be set up this year.
The 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday the 20th of July which was due to start at Digne-les-Bains, will take off from Embrun.
Indeed, the risk of rock falls in the climb up the Col de Larche being fairly important, the organisers of the Tour de France have decided after speaking to the local authorities and following the recommendations of the State departments, to modify the itinerary in order to guarantee the security of the riders, the spectators and the followers of the Tour.
The risk of rock falls on about 4 kilometres of the course was known for several months and all the parties concerned were trying to find a solution. Unfortunately, three months before the start of the Tour, the works considered could not guarantee the necessary security for the passage of the race, and based on the time necessary for the study of a new course, wisdom commanded to change the itinerary.
Like for the stage on the 23rd of July which will finish at the Alpe d’Huez, the 15th stage of the Tour de France will take off from Embrun and head to Prato Nevoso on a distance of around 185 kilometres (before the reconnaissance), in other words 30 kilometres less than the stage initially planned. Instead of the Col de Larche, the pack will have to face the climb up the Col d’Agnel (2744 m).
The Tour de France organisers have chosen the teams that will constitute this year’s field. Twenty teams, of which each will nominate nine riders, are invited for the 2008 Tour de France, which will begin in Brittany on July 5 and conclude on the Champs- Élysées on July 27, three weeks later.
However, this selection is being announced subject to each of the teams respecting the ethics and honesty that must prevail in cycling.
Team Milram (MRM)
Silence - Lotto (SIL)
Team CSC (CSC)
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS)
Saunier Duval - Scott (SDV)
High Road (THR)
Slipstream Chipotle (TSL)
Bouygues Telecom (BTL)
Credit Agricole (C.A)
Cofidis Le crédit par téléphone (COF)
Française Des Jeux (FDJ)
AG2R - La Mondiale (ALM)
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As it regularly expressed during the negotiations held with the AIGCP in regards to the participation in the Paris-Nice race, A.S.O. understands and shares the concerns of the riders and teams, who, under threat from the UCI, would like to ask the TAS to cancel the interdiction of participation in the race, announced by the UCI.
However, the request from the IPCT to the TAS, stemming from the dispute between the UCI and the teams relative to " UCI PRO TOUR license" with which A.SO. has no ties to whatsoever, A.S.O. can not be associated with this legal action.
A.S.O. thus reaffirms to the riders and teams the absolute legality of the Paris-Nice race, which is placed under the aegis of the French Cycling Federation according to French law.
A.S.O. also notes with satisfaction the change in attitude of the UCI President regarding the participation regulations for the Tour de France and would like to believe that he is equally ready to recognise the "historic" stature of the Paris-Nice event.
Consequently, it leaves reason to believe the UCI will finally accept the mediation offered by the French Secretary of State for Sport, Mr. Bernard Laporte. This complete and precise long-term project could in effect bring an end to this conflict that has damaged the sport of cycling for too long of a time.
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Invited today by the Mayor of London, Christian Prudhomme welcomed with the highest interest a new candidacy on behalf of the English capital that wishes to continue its relationship started with the Tour during the 2007 edition. Last July, the organisers as well as the riders were overwhelmed by the popular enthusiasm they witnessed in London and then in Kent with a total of three million spectators on the sides of the roads during the weekend. "London wants to host the Tour de France again'', explained Ken Livingstone during a press conference after having presented his candidacy project. The Tour de France Director who had viewed the Grand Depart as a unique experience in 2007 was seduced. The prospect of a new visit in a close future was therefore considered: "Ken, we shall come back", claimed Christian Prudhomme to the Mayor of London.
Visiting the Paris agricultural fair, Christian Prudhomme met French Prime Minister François Fillon who made the best of the occasion to insist on his interest for the Tour de France which will start next 5th of July in Brittany for its 95th edition. Alongside Bernard Hinault who started a long career as a farmer after his sporting retirement, Christian Prudhomme mentioned the links that unite the Tour de France with the agricultural world. In the presence of Jean-Michel Lemétayer, President of the FNSEA and of Michel Barnier, Minister of agriculture, François Fillon also insisted on the common values shared by the universe of cycling and of agriculture.
The 2007 Tour de France was marked by the beginning of the bilateral cooperation between A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation) and the A.D.F. (Assembly of French Departments).
This cooperation took place in total satisfaction and it was therefore natural that a partnership agreement was renewed for the occasion of the 2008 Tour de France and signed on the 6th of February at the headquarters of the A.D.F.
This partnership sets the practical modalities for the use of roads, the disposal and adjusting of roads for the passage of the pack during the month of July.
The course of the 2008 Tour de France will use 97% of roads managed by the Department Councils (Conseils généraux) and will travel through 39 departments.
Among the missions renewed this year:
Finally, at the start of each stage, a coordination meeting will be set up at the A.D.F. stand of the Tour de France village between the representatives of the General Councils, the police and A.S.O.
A.S.O. has decided not to invite Astana on the events that it organises in 2008, based on the damage caused by this team during the 2007 Tour de France and to cycling in general, both in 2006 and 2007.
The Astana team has indeed betrayed, last year, the confidence of the organisers that had invited them based, already, on their faith of a renewal announced by its leaders.
However, as the team has once again changed, A.S.O. will remain careful at the efforts that Astana will set up to live a 2008 season without affairs or suspicion, and could then reconsider a possible candidacy for its future events.
This afternoon the organisers of the Tour de France unveiled the programme for the first few days of the 2009 race, which will kick off on 4 July. For the first time in its history, the Grande Boucle will set out from Monaco. The Principality has already been the finishing point for race stages on five occasions, including the famous finish between Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor when the Tour last visited Monaco, in 1964.
With this prestigious Grand Départ, those racing in and following the Tour will have the opportunity to enjoy spending some time in the South-East – a region the convoy rarely passes through. In the last thirty years, only Nice has hosted the Grand Départ. The city had the privilege of serving as a springboard for Bernard Hinault to achieve his third victory in the challenge.
The first pedal strokes from Monaco will perhaps give contenders a chance to stand out – the uneven path that the initial stage will follow favours the more accomplished cyclist. For this individual 15 kilometre time trial race, cyclists will tackle in particular a section of the famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit. The next day, 5th July, the starting signal for the second stage of the 2009 Tour will also be given from Monaco.
Stage 12. Saint-Raphaël > Monaco - Maurice Archambaud (France)
Stage 13. Monaco > Monaco - Pierre Gallien (France)
Stage 12. Sestrières > Monaco - Jan Nolten (Holland)
Stage 16. Marseilles > Monaco - Wim Van Est (Holland)
Stage 9. Briançon > Monaco - Raphaël Géminiani (France)
Stage 9. Briançon > Monaco - Jacques Anquetil (France)
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Sagem Communications, a subsidiary of the SAFRAN Group specialising in high-speed connection communication products (printing terminals, residential terminals, digital set top boxes, etc.), has just signed a partnership agreement with the Tour de France for the 2nd year running.
So, once again, the SAGEM brand will be an official partner of the Tour de France 2008.
The adventure of the 2007 Tour had positive repercussions for SAGEM, with valuable international visibility for the brand which allowed it to improve its notoriety.
For Sagem Communications the Tour de France is an excellent opportunity to promote the company’s various flagship products, especially the photo products (photo printers, digital photo frames, digital photo kiosks).
Patrick Sevian, CEO of Sagem Communications, declares: “we were really pleased with our partnership on the 2007 Tour and the positive repercussions that it had. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the A.S.O. teams, they are real professionals, and to say how much we enjoyed the partnership. That’s why we have decided to renew the Tour adventure in 2008, to continue even further on the road to success!”
Sagem Communications (SAFRAN Group) is a major player in the field of communications, having acquired international positions thanks to a high innovative potential. The SAGEM products benefit from a particular awareness in the following activities: printing terminals, residential terminals, digital TV set-top boxes, systems, electronic metering…
For more information, visit the following Web Sites: www.sagem.com and www.safran-group.com.
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In 2007, the Tour de France started an important information campaign on cycling for the young generation. With the release of teaching application guide, used by school teachers of CM1 and CM2 in the areas visited by the Tour and then through the visit of the Cycloparc, a moving exhibition that stopped in a dozen cities, many children and adolescents were able to discover cycling and its biggest event in a differnt way.
This year the “À chacun son Tour” operation supported by the Ministry for national education, the USEP and the FFC, expands to a major part of the French territory for its first phase that associates in an even larger way the teachers of elementary schools. The teaching application guide has been developped for this second version (a chapter in English has been added) and will now be available on the www.achacunsontour.com website that appears today on internet, simultanously with the official annoucement of the 2008 Tour course.
The achacunsontour.com website has a goal to become a place of dialogue around the initiatives linked to the operation. Teachers but also instructors from the cycling clubs or parents interested by “À chacun son Tour” are invited to come and visit the site regularly to collect information but also use it as a meeting point between keen amateurs of the future of cycling.
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Škoda Auto has extended its partnership with the legendary cycling race Tour de France by a further four years (2008-2011) and will therefore continue its involvement in top-class cycling that started in 2004. The partnership agreement was signed with A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation), the organiser of the Tour.
By extending its partnership with this prestigious race, Škoda Auto continues supporting cycling that, alongside ice-hockey, is one of the pillars of the Company’s sponsorship and communication strategy. “Our continuing involvement in cycling and especially the partnership with the Tour de France is part of our long-term strategy of teaming up with the best and thus enhancing the brand awareness and visibility on one side while demonstrating first-class quality of our products on the other”, said Martin Lauer, Head of Škoda Auto Corporate Communications. “Cycling is a worldwide phenomenon, a sport done by millions of people of all age categories and professions. We want to be where our existing and potential customers are and, at the same time, help support this wonderful sport,” adds Martin Lauer.
The partnership with the Tour de France includes support for a number of competitions in France and Belgium organised by A.S.O., such as the well-known spring classic Paris-Roubaix. Thanks to Škoda Auto’s foreign-based agencies, the Mladá Boleslav-based car manufacturer has also been involved in the Giro d’Italia since last year.
For further information, please contact: Jaroslav Černý, Corporate Communications
Tel.: +420 326 811 176 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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In the presence of Mr Jaime Lissavetsky, junior minister and President of the Supreme Council for Sports, and Patrice Clerc, President of Amaury Sport Organization, Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France has presented the yellow jersey to the 2006 winner, Oscar Pereiro.
Following the announcement of the official results by the International Cycling Union, this ceremony has been organized at the "Consejo Superior de Deportes" in Madrid on Monday 15th October at 6pm in the presence of a lot of journalists.
These proposals would notably create a 'European' schedule for such well known and long standing events, which are Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Paris-Nice, Paris-Tours and La Flèche Wallonne, which have always been included on the world calendar
Additionally, the Tour de France would be forced to follow the participation rules of the "Pro Tour" and would be forced to use this closed system the A.S.O. is not in agreement with.
The A.S.O. deems these proposals to be harmful and unacceptable for the concerned events and more in general for the interest of cycling.
Noting the failure of negotiations and, once again, the refusal of the UCI to listen to the legitimate demands of the major events and preoccupied by the situation this has created, A.S.O. has turned to the French Cycling Federation and the Royal Belgian Cycling Federation in asking them to help preserve the future of these cycling 'Classics'.
In addition, A.S.O. hopes that the meeting to be held in Paris next October 22 and 23, organised by the French Minister of Health and Sport, will make it possible to develop an efficient action plan, along with all those involved in professional cycling and in a framework assuring the largest objectivity and impartialness required, to end the practice, that until recently has tarnished the image of this magnificent sport and it's champions.
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