On Saturday, June 29, 2013, Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice and President of Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole and Jean-Marie Leblanc, director of the Tour de France from 1989 to 2006, inaugurated the village Nice Celebrates the Tour on the Promenade des Anglais. The Tour 2013 is the 100th edition of the most famous cycling race in the world. The Tour de France is – after the Olympics and the Footbal World Cup – the most publicized sporting event in the world and brings together 3.5 billion viewers in 190 countries. The peloton is becoming ever more global, edition after edition: it is composed of 33 nationalities racing together in 22 teams.
The Tour de France returns to Nice for its 100th anniversary
The city of Nice and the Nice Côte d’Azur Métropole mobilized to host the fourth and fifth stages of the 100th edition of the Tour de France: Tuesday, July 2 (Nice-Nice time trial race) and Wednesday, July 3 (start of the stage Cagnes-sur-Mer/Marseille). (The Tour came to Nice for the last time in 2009). The first three stages were held in Corsica, from Saturday, June 29 to Monday, July 1. During these stages, the city of Nice remained the “rear base” of the Tour de France. Thus, the festivities around the Tour de France started from Saturday, June 29 with the event “Nice Celebrates the Tour.” A rich entertainment program around the bike was organized for the attention of young and old.
Nice in the colors of the Tour
The city dressed in the colors of the Tour: tram in the colors of the Tour, giant yellow jersey at the entrance of the town hall, blue bicycles dressed in yellow, flags “Nice Celebrates the Tour ” on the candelabra of the time trial course, giant banner at the entrance of Nice, giant banner “Nice Celebrates The Tour ” covering the roof of Nikaia and finally, at the Allianz Riviera stadium, some cardboard silhouettes of cyclists were positioned on the square and, in the parking lot, a piece of iconic collection of the caravan of the Tour de France on loan from the National Museum of Sport that will open its doors in situ in 2014.
The Village “Nice Celebrates the Tour”
Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, Jean-Marie Leblanc, director of the Tour de France from 1989 to 2006, Rudy Salles , MP, Gilles Veissière, Nice Deputy to Sports, Diego Noto, Director of Cavigal, Joël Lainé, Director of Public trials and Henry Scopi of Nice Culture Vélo. have inaugurated the village ” Nice Celebrates the Tour.”
During four days, in the village located on Quai des Etats-Unis, many events are organized: the diffusion of the first 4 stages of the Tour de France on a giant screen every afternoon, some shows with champions of mountain bike, quizzes, contests on a animations podium, a space of BMX initiation for children supervised by professionals, bike competitions, spinning on simulators, tracks bikes tests and many gifts are also won throughout the four-day festival of cycling.
Among the partners: Vittel, Alcatel One Touch, Saucisson Cochonou, Econobic, Madeleines Mont St Michel, candies Aribo, L’Equipe, France Bleu radio, Skoda cars, the Crédit Lyonnais… On Sunday, a great stage from will offer 21:30 the first “Prom’party” with jazz, salsa, samba, pop. All this spread over seven stages on the Promenades des Anglais between the Théâtre de verdure and the Negresco, for the public to dance, listen to music or just have fun. The village is open daily from 10 am to 20 pm and Tuesday from 10 am to 18 pm. Admission is free.
The Tour de France started from Corsica for the first time
It is under the blue sky of Corsica that the 100th Tour de France launched itself on Saturday, June 29 from Porto-Vecchio. The two departments of the Island of Beauty had never been visited by the Tour since 1903, date of the first Tour! It is also under a sky cleared of clouds of suspicion of drug use over the last decade, swept by the winds of change that this Grande Boucle will be run for its 100th year of undeniable and always growing popular success that only the two world wars have interrupted.
Two established favorites
And finally, it is also a clear sky of revealed ambitions that awaits the racers: indeed, to make a beautiful Tour, it takes a favorite and a rival. This year’s favorite is the English Chris Froome, aka “Froomey”, second in the Tour in 2012 behind his leader Bradley Wiggins – absent this year. He currently races in the South as “a neighbor” because he lives in Monaco. His rival is the Spaniard Alberto Contador, winner of three Tour de France: in 2007, 2009 and 2010- yet the 2010 Tour was withdrawn from him after a positive doping test. This great racer is a survivor: in 2004, Contador suffered a beginning of aneurysm during the Tour des Asturies and after surgery, he only woke up after several weeks of coma.
Chris Froome is an atypical racer, still little known: Kenyan-born from English parents, he was educated in South Africa where he learned cycling in rudimentary conditions. He discovered the races in Europe while participating in the Espoir World Championship in Salzburg in 2006. He then joined the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, where he was introduced to the tactical race, when he was used to flat races in South Africa. He participated in his first Tour in 2008 with the Barloworld team before joining the Sky team where he became aware of his abilities. This season Froomey has won more races than Contador, including the Dauphine, but the Spaniard is an experienced racer who knows how to win a Tour de France and he will be commited to restore its credibility. But the race is not decided, and challengers like Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Joaquin Rodriguez or Alejandro Valverde can also shine in this long and tough race. And we can wager that the Frenchs’ “choucou” Thomas Voeckler will lie in the wait to grab the yellow jersey, even for a few days, as he is used to do every year.