Official Tour de France Fan
Parks: England from...

Monday, April 14th

Londoners flocked to the 2013 Tour de France Fan Park to watch Chris Froome power his way to a famous victory in the 100th edition of the Tour de France.  In 2014, the Fan Parks, presented by... Read more

All systems go for
Cambridge-London!

Tuesday, April 8th

With less than three months to go, Cambridge is looking forward to welcoming the Tour de France peloton for the start of stage 3... Read more

Returning to Yorkshire in 2015

Friday, March 28th

With Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield as stage cities in the 2014 Tour, Yorkshire is making a big entrance in the world of cycling. And it will stay there for a while with a new three-day race... Read more

D-100: England goes yellow

Thursday, March 27th

The countdown has begun for the county of Yorkshire, whose annual cultural festival has started 100 days before the start of the Tour de France in Leeds. In the entire region, and even right down... Read more

La Course by Le Tour de France:
Women's Day, Round...

Saturday, March 8th

Women are the stars on March 8... It will be very much the same when the elite of ladies' cycling comes together in Paris on July 27 for the inaugural edition of La Course by le Tour de France, a... Read more

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Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France: an exciting programme

news17.10.2013Pre-race

© Presse Sports

The leading lights of the 2014 Tour de France, including Chris Froome, Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel, will be in Japan from October 25 to explore Saitama. They will be in their element when meeting local journalists, but not so much when they come up against sumo wrestlers for introductory lessons! They will be back in their comfort zone the day after, when they hop onto their bicycles for quite a few laps of the city circuit. Race director Jean-François Pescheux goes into the details of the last fixture of the season.

Mr Pescheux, your challenge consists of imbibing a race held in Japan with the flavour of the Tour de France. How do you do that?
The idea was to set up an urban circuit right in the heart of Saitama, just like when the Tour peloton rides a few laps of the final circuit in the stage to the Champs-Elysées. Of course, the environment is different, but the 2.7 km course also includes very wide avenues which can give rise to similar race situations.
 
The format of the Criterium was also designed with the Tour de France in mind...
Indeed, we have three races which could be viewed as three stages. The first two will be points races, with points on offer at the end of every other lap, while the third one will be a road stage on a circuit. The 54 km course will feature intermediate sprints, which will determine the points classification, as well as a small climb at the top of which riders will vie for the mountains classification. Finally, we will have a young rider classification and a teams classification, while a jury will award a combativity prize at the end of the race. Just like in the Tour!
 
The idea of points races is also a nod to track cycling, a favourite of the Japanese...
They invented keirin, most notably. Our points races, with several sprints each, borrow from this concept. It is a way of blending our cycling cultures while making sure the result is an exciting show. The Japanese never get to see such a star-studded field, so it is important to let them enjoy the performance for quite some time.
 
And a succession of sprints is a sure way of guaranteeing such a show...
What is for sure is that we will see short and nervous stages with multiple rewards on offer, which will promote movement and non-stop attacks. The Tour riders will be here for their last race of the season and a rare appearance in Asia, will want to pull off a performance worthy of their status and their jerseys. But I am quite sure that they will face a fierce challenge from the Japanese riders we invited.

The news in pictures

photo17/10/2013 

© Presse Sports

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Corporate social responsibility

Since it was founded, Amaury Sport Organisation has been involved in various sponsorship and philanthropy activities. It is the generosity of sport that can be found in a certain number of initiatives aiming to invest in the workings of the disciplines themselves (sponsorship of the French Federation of Cycling), in a humanitarian and social framework, (Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, Actions Dakar, Un Techo Para Mi Pais) or in the environmental sphere (Madre De Dios, selective sorting, etc.). Read more

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