With, on average, nearly 4 million viewers per stage on French television and broadcast in more than 190 countries, the Tour de France is an unparalleled media showcase for cities. ” Pau is known to the depths of the United States thanks to the Tour »Rejoices Josy Poueyto MP and municipal councilor in charge of the Tour de France in the capital of Béarn.
More than 250 candidates
But to have the right to participate in this adventure, the road is long. First thing to do for the elected official wishing to host the event: write a letter to the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) group, organizer of the Grande Boucle. ” When we receive this letter, we then send an acknowledgment of receipt and a form to fill out with technical information and a few words on the city’s cycling policy. », Explains Cyrille Tricart in charge of external relations for the Tour de France for ASO
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Between 250 and 300 communities apply each year to become a stopover city. To decide between them, several criteria are taken into account. “ The most important constraint is that we cannot go everywhere and that our choice is influenced by the city that receives the big departure. », Comments Cyrille Tricart. With a departure from Nice for the 107e edition in 2020, the cities of northern France were therefore unlikely to see the Tour stop there …
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Between 80,000 and 120,000 € the entrance fee
Another important factor is the ability of cities to properly accommodate teams of runners and the organization of the Tour, ie nearly 1,800 people. By adding the media and the advertising caravan, a total of 4,500 individuals invest each day in a stopover town… without counting the spectators.
Delegations of the Tour therefore move, without warning, in the candidate municipalities. “Lhe visits are made in cities that we do not know well: for others, like Gap or Pau for example, we know that they have the possibility of welcoming us », Explains Cyrille Tricart.
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Each year, at the end of August – beginning of September, the final route is recorded. A letter then announces to the (happy) elected officials that their city has been chosen, before the official announcement of the route in October. The winning municipalities must then put their hand in the portfolio. Because to host the Tour, you must first pay an entry fee to the ASO group
For the 2019 edition, it was necessary to pay € 120,000 to be the city of arrival, € 80,000 to accommodate a departure and € 50,000 for the rest day. An invoice which is increasing with the multiple works to be carried out to meet the requirements of the Tour and the setting up of the festivities linked to the event. ” In addition to the duty paid to ASO, we have invested nearly € 100,000 in logistics. The expense is important but unavoidable », Analyzes Maurice Valla, mayor of Privas, Ardèche commune of about 9,000 inhabitants which will be the arrival city of the fifth stage of the Tour de France 2020.
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Planing of level crossings, purchase of barricades, etc., the strict specifications binding the cities and the Tour de France indeed involve numerous investments. ” It includes the measures that cities are required to take as well as the conditions of use of the “Tour de France brand”, such as the application of competition logos. », Explains Cyrille Tricart.
“An unrivaled tool”
The requirements are many but the game is worth the effort. Stage town for the 72e once this year, the city of Pau is once again impatiently awaiting the Grande Boucle. During the passage of the Tour, ” our hotel park is overflowing and if the city represents itself year after year, it is because we meet there », Assures Josy Poueyto. ” It is an unparalleled tool to promote the city », Confirms Maurice Valla.
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A very lucrative influence, according to the city of Albi. Host of the Tour for three days during the 2019 edition, the Albigensian city released on January 10 a study on the impact of the Tour on its economy. It measured the consumption of spectators and the advertising gains generated by the passage of cyclists compared to the initial investment. The result is clear: the yield is almost nine times higher than the money spent by the municipality. Welcome the yellow jersey, a golden opportunity to change gear for the stopover towns.