(PARIS, FRANCE) – After the French Open, the Tour de France has been the sporting event of the year for 110 years. For this 100th Tour – the event was cancelled during the World Wars – the organizers, from the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) company wanted to showcase France’s heritage treasures.
Almost 25 nationalities will be represented in the 22 teams when the Tour de France begins on 29 June. This year, the competition will begin in Corsica. This is a first, as the French island had never hosted the event. Four Corsican towns (Porto Vecchio, Bastia, Ajaccio and Calvi) will thus watch the 198 cyclists and the vast organizing team go past.
In total, close to 4500 people will be travelling each day, including the organizing team in the Tour’s press caravan, the sporting groups and, above all, media from around the world. More than 2300 journalists will be present to report on every stage of the competition. “The Tour de France is broadcasted in 190 countries and carried through some 100 television channels worldwide", says the enthusiastic Pierre-Yves Touault, deputy director of the Tour de France. “If you add up all the visual coverage of the Tour broadcast worldwide, you come to six months of viewing.” France Télévisions, France’s top audiovisual group, is responsible or broadcasting the event. In close to 20 years, the airtime dedicated to the famous race has grown from 55 hours to more than 120 hours today.
The Tour de France’s reputation is of course due to its long history, but also to its organization, which is envied worldwide.
“The Tour is a viable competition”, says Touault. “The political and sporting authorities in Qatar, China and even California draw on this renown and call upon our expertise.” This competition represents a turnover of approximately €100 million – two thirds of the revenue generated by Amaury Sport Organisation.
For this 100th competition, the organizers decided to highlight the monuments and landscapes of France seen from the Tour route. The organizers concluded an agreement with the public authorities in order to showcase some 20 monuments in the course of the race. From Mont-Saint-Michel to the châteaux of the Loire, through the citadel of Carcassonne, the Mont Blanc Valley and the Château d’If fortress, all of France will be represented along the route”, says Touault.