THE TOWNS AND CITIES KICK IT UP A GEAR
The " Tour de France Cycle City " label recognizes communities that are committed to promoting bicycle mobility.
The "Tour de France Cycle City" label has had a unique approach since 2021. It gives municipalities that have hosted the Tour de France or the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift at least once the chance to get an assessment of their policies to promote cycling as a day-to-day means of transport, a leisure activity or a competitive sport. From investments in infrastructure and services to awareness-raising and cycling education, the applications submitted by the 32 candidates in 2023 were extremely detailed. As well as recognising bicycle-friendly towns and cities, the label is a valuable tool for identifying avenues for improvement. Seven applications were renewed in 2023: Changé, Châteauroux, Cluses, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Paris, Roanne, and Tarbes. The assessment proved to Châteauroux (3 bicycles), Cluses (3 bicycles) and Roanne (3 bicycles) to see that their efforts since 2021 to make these towns more and more welcoming for cyclists are useful and have been well received.
The cycling plans on the table are increasingly ambitious and well funded, as local authorities keep their momentum going and throw their weight behind the development of cycling like never before. This third edition includes 25 new towns and cities with the "Tour de France Cycle City" label and brings the number of members of this select club to 133 across 9 countries. About 8.7 million people now reap the benefits of the initiatives launched by the local authorities. The 2023 batch also rewards 8 towns of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, 12 medium-sized towns and 12 towns of more than 40,000 inhabitants, a range that mirrors the diversity of the Tour de France and drives home the point that promoting cycling is everyone's business, whatever the scale and whatever the resources available. This is the case, for example, of little rural municipalities with big ideas and an aspiration to step up their game, such as Mauriac (1 bicycle) and Collonges-la-Rouge (1 bicycle), which was also the smallest candidate collectivity at 492 inhabitants.
At the top of the class, the jury rewarded the policies of Bordeaux, Paris and Vitoria-Gasteiz with the highest possible score, four bicycles. The cities hosting the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift this year have been particularly active, with 22 applications: a special mention goes to the Basque Country, which is showcasing its cycling assets, as all the host cities of the Grand Départ have received a rating of at least two bicycles.
The composition of the jury for the " Tour de France Cycle City" label:
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France; Émilie Defay, deputy editor-in-chief of France Bleu Paris; Jean Ghedira, director of communication, sponsorship and general secretariat of LCL ; David Lazarus: mayor of Chambly and president of the "Sports" working group of the Association of French Mayors ; Olivier Schneider, president of the FUB ; Karine Bozzacchi, head of CSR for the Tour de France.
133 CITIES HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED THE LABEL:
Four levels of labelling are symbolised by small yellow bicycles displayed on the signs that the municipalities set up at their town limits. The label criteria (set out in the application file for the second promotion, which can still be downloaded via the link below for your information) look at the cycling infrastructure development strategy, concrete actions to promote cycling (e.g. learning in school, awareness campaigns and recreational rides) and the support provided to clubs and various associations involved in cycling in their area.
Tour de France CSR Manager Karine Bozzacchi explains how the great disparity in resources between large cities such as Paris or Rotterdam and rural towns of a few hundred residents are taken into account when awarding the label, as is only natural: "While it can be hard for a small town to build a bike path, implementing 30 km/h zones in some neighbourhoods is more feasible and still shows a real commitment to supporting cycling as a means of transport."
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