Continental: helping all road users stay safe
When it comes to tyres, the Tour de France is a Franco-German success story. German tyre manufacturer Continental is a Main Partner of the world’s most important bike race, official Tour vehicles are equipped with Continental tyres manufactured in Sarreguemines, France, and six World Tour teams will be racing on tyres designed and hand-made in the company’s two-wheel tyre headquarters in Korbach, Germany.
These activities all have two things in common: dedication to premium performance and commitment to safety. Continental has been contributing to road safety for over 140 years and strives to make the Tour safer for participants, support teams and spectators. The ultimate goal: Vision Zero – zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero crashes – at the Tour de France and beyond.
Superior grip – increased safety for riders
The premium bike tyres used by six World Tour teams competing at Tour de France 2019 don’t just boost performance – they also significantly contribute to the riders’ safety. The Competition Pro LTD offers the optimal balance of grip and speed, thanks to the unique BlackChili tread compound. It improves rolling resistance, which is crucial in flat stages. At the same time, it provides a level of grip that can make a huge difference on particularly challenging descents in the mountain stages.
Along with well-timed braking and slick aerodynamics, these two advantages combined can decide who wins or loses, who arrives safely and who crashes out early. Grip is particularly important on rainy days, when other safety concerns like overheating and dehydration are dwarfed by the very real risk of riders slipping on wet roads.
Safety along the route
Tour de France riders and their teams can do a lot to stay safe en route, but they are never in full control of all risks. The right equipment is engineered to be ultra-safe and cyclists have to be alert and quick to react to challenges. However, they also need to have the confidence to trust their surroundings.
Official Tour de France vehicles, including those used by race directors, doctors, timekeepers and service professionals, contribute to route safety. To ensure that they, too, stay safe on the Tour, all vehicles are fitted with an exclusive edition of the Continental PremiumContact 6. The tyre’s exceptional grip allows the drivers to experience the route with the same feeling of confidence as the riders. After all, in their quest for a safe, smooth and successful Tour, they have to drive the same often treacherous roads the riders face and actually cover significantly more kilometres than the bikes throughout the Tour de France.
As anyone who has ever made the trip will know, watching the Tour de France up close and live is a thrilling experience. The crowd reaction and the enthusiasm of fans cheering on their favourites is part of what makes the race so special, but it can also pose a safety risk. Contribute to a safer route by following the advice in this official Tour de France safety video – for yourself, for the Tour and for the riders.
Join the Tour safely
If you want to get up close (but: not too close) with the pros during the challenging race, you can view the Tour alongside the route on any of the stages. This means facing the challenges of driving to one of the most-viewed sports events in the world, in the middle of summer, during the entire country’s school holidays – and dealing with the ensuing traffic chaos. You can’t be prepared for every eventuality the roads may throw at you, but you can ensure that your car is ready to get you there safely. Prepare just as well as you would for a bike ride and also pay attention to what the official vehicle drivers watch out for on the Tour.
- Grip for a safe trip.
Check the condition of your tyres, the profile depth and tyre pressure to ensure good grip, especially on rainy days and if you are heading into the mountains.
- Liquid levels.
Check oil, water, coolant and fuel levels to ensure your car is ready for a long trip – without unexpected stops.
A banner supporting your favourite rider? Your team supporter jersey? A hat against the gruelling sun? These obviously need to go in the suitcase, but have you also thought of packing a first aid kit, high-vis vest, warning triangle and emergency tool kit?
- Have a safe Tour!
Vision Zero: the ultimate in safety
The global Vision Zero strategy, supported by Continental and Tour de France, is designed to eliminate casualties amongst all road users. The multi-national road traffic safety project is based on the belief that all road crashes, injuries and fatalities are preventable.
No matter how you are travelling, Vision Zero aims to make the road a safer place for everyone. We are confident that our research and technologies contribute to this vision – at the Tour de France and beyond.