It is not immediately obvious what Rotterdam, Manosque, Béthune, Limoges, Paris, Saint-Gaudens, Brussels and Landerneau have in common. Like more than 700 other towns, they are among the municipalities that have welcomed the Tour de France peloton at least once since 1903 for a stage finish or start. What’s more, they have chosen to show their commitment to everyday cycling by applying for the ‘Tour de France cycle city’ label created this year. At the close of the application period, 80 complete submissions were received by the Tour organisers, detailing, in particular, the measures put in place and the initiatives taken at the local level to encourage cycling (infrastructure deployment, improvement of rider safety, riding lessons, parking and combating theft, maintenance and repair, promotional tools, etc.).
Among them, five crossed borders to arrive in the Tour de France offices, coming from Belgium (Brussels/Binche), Spain (Vielha Val d’Aran), Ireland (Enniscorthy) and the Netherlands (Rotterdam). In addition to the Tour stage cities, the towns of Murat (Cantal) and Pleyben (Finistère), although not eligible for the label, were keen to complete an application that would certainly earn them a distinction for their combativity on other terrains.
Before installing the signs at the entrances to their communities that will indicate their membership in this club of cities committed to bicycle mobility, the municipalities will be awarded a level of certification (one, two, three or four bicycles), which will be evaluated according to the conditions of cyclability and their commitment in this area, while also taking into account the size and means of the towns. As the applications are all carefully documented, the jury will study them until 15 April to proceed with the deliberations, which will end on 3 May, i.e., at the start of the large-scale national ‘Mai à Vélo’ campaign in France.
The composition of the jury:
Marion Rousse (2012 French Road Race Champion / Analyst France Télévisions)
Emilie Defay (France Bleu Paris / Journalist specialising in mobility)
Karine Bozzacchi (A.S.O. / Manager of the ‘Tour de France cycle city’ label)
Olivier Schneider (President of the French Bicycle Users Federation)
David Lazarus (Mayor of Chambly / President of the ‘sports’ working group of the French Mayors Association)
Christian Prudhomme (Amaury Sport Organisation / Director of cycling)
Candidate cities for the session allocating the label in the 2021:
Vielha Val d’Aran (Spain)
Find out more about this new label at https://www.letour.fr/en/the-race/riding-info-the-future/cycling-cities