E.Leclerc to take polka-dot jersey to new heights
September 17 th 2018 - 11:00
Joop Zoetemelk pulled on the first ever polka-dot jersey of the Tour de France on 27 June 1975. The mountains classification had existed since 1933, but it had lacked a distinctive jersey until then. The "jockey outfit" —as Jacques Goddet described it tongue-in-cheek at its launch— has marked several eras: after Belgian Lucien Van Impe, who fought for it eagerly and successfully (six victories), the polka-dot jersey went to several generations of Colombian mountain goats (Herrera, Soler, Quintana, etc.), was won a record-breaking seven times by Richard Virenque, and again aroused the cheers of the fans on the shoulders of Julian Alaphilippe last June.
The mountains are the jewels of the crown of the Tour de France. Climbers who wear the polka-dot jersey share strong emotions with the masses, which appreciate the panache and bravery of the mountain men. This emotional connection with the fans appealed to E.Leclerc, which also targets a wide public and works hard to strengthen its ties to the various regions of France. This aspiration, which it already shared with the Grande Boucle, will now find expression on the roads.
Michel-Édouard Leclerc, General Manager of the E.Leclerc Movement : "It is the third most watched sports event in the world. It puts the spotlight on our beautiful regions with three weeks of jaw-dropping panoramas. Millions of people who are passionate about cycling or simply revel in the festive atmosphere come together on the roadsides to celebrate cycling in good spirit. For E.Leclerc, which has been working for 65 years to promote the culinary heritage of our regions and the best their artisans have to offer, the partnership with the Tour is only natural!"
Christian Prudhomme, Head of the A.S.O. Cycling Division : "I am delighted to welcome aboard the Tour de France a brand that is as close to its customers as the Tour is to its fans. The polka-dot jersey is extremely popular because it stands for courage and a down-to-earth character. I am sure that E.Leclerc and the fans of the Tour will make a perfect match. Bringing the wealth of the French culinary and sporting heritage to as many people as possible has the same symbolic importance for both our companies."