There was no professional cycling in the Spring of 2020. And yet the bicycle, which is emerging as one of the solutions of the future for mobility concerns, is yet again providing an effective response to the problems of overcoming the health crisis. Engaged for the past several years in the promotion of sustainable mobility, the world’s biggest cycling competition reaffirms its support for everyday cycling throughout the summer in launching the Tour de France United. From 27 June, the date in which the riders where due to set off in Nice on the initial calendar, to 20 September, when the finish of the 107th edition will conclude on the Champs-Elysées, several operations will be organised in partnership with associations that also believe in the social utility of cycling.
“A bicycle for everyone” with Emmaüs
Discarded bicycles can become real means of transport, often at the cost of simple repairs. This is the conclusion drawn by the Emmaüs association, which is an expert in recycling and is able to restore abandoned bikes in order to sell them at low prices. The Tour de France United is taking up the challenge of collecting 5,000 bikes (i.e. around 150 per stage town) and donating €30 per bike to Emmaüs to get them back up and running.
“Bliss on a bike days” with Secours populaire français
For more than ten years, children have been invited to the finish of the Tour de France in partnership with Secours populaire français, whose usual operations for young people have been disrupted by the health crisis. However, around 20 Bliss on a bike days will be organised, benefiting nearly 400 children from underprivileged families affected by the crisis. A long-awaited moment of escape, accompanied by a precious gift as the bikes will be donated to the kids. Today Christian Prudhomme will meet in Nice with the leaders of the local Federation of Secours populaire français to symbolically launch the Tour de France United.
“Heroes on bikes”, with Qhubeka
The Tour de France supports the South African association Qhubeka every year, donating 176 bikes (the number of riders in the Tour peloton) to children living far from their schools. This year, the association has established the Heroes on bikes programme aimed at equipping caregivers and social workers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in South Africa who are involved in the fight against Covid 19. The Tour de France supports this initiative and will pick up the expense for nearly 1,000 bikes to be donated to Qhubeka.
And internationally, more than 200 bicycles will be given to children from families in need helped by associations such as BiJeVa in Belgium and Jeugd Fonds Sport en Cultuur in the Netherlands.
Fundraising: The Tour de France is doubly useful
In addition to the direct and massive assistance that it provides, the Tour makes itself doubly useful by organizing and relaying a call for donations. Enthusiasts of the Grande Boucle can support the Tour de France United by heading to www.letour.fr
The partners in action
Numerous solidarity campaigns will also be carried out by partners, with the support of the Tour de France United: LCL supports young cyclists, providing them useful accessories for cycling with the “helmet operation”. E. Leclerc renews its supports of the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque association with a 2020 version of the “Sommets du Coeur”, the “One child, One bicycle” operation initiated in 2017 by Century 21 and backed by Bernard Hinault whose intention is to collect kid’s bikes to offer them to underprivileged families, the AG2R La Mondiale Vivons Vélo programme, which intends to convert kilometres ridden into donations for the Institut Pasteur, the collecting of used telephones with Ecosystem led by cycling clubs to help local charities, and the Domitys challenge, which aims to cycle 12,000 kms in their residences to raise funds for Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque.”