Thursday 20 October 2011 at 09h01

Last Tuesday was the official presentation of the Tour de France 2012. As we didn't expect any real surprises, I decided that this might be a good occasion to let you discover, if you didn't have the chance to be invited or to be able to follow the presentation on the official website, how such a presentation happens. Furthermore, the video with the presentation of each of the stages will allow you to discover all the small details which have been announced during the presentation and which you won't find on the website.

A short flashback on the presentation in video and photos at the end of the article!


The introduction by Jean-Etienne Amaury: you'll never walk alone, with the UCI and GCP ...

After having thanked the riders for the Tour de France 2011 which he described as one of the most touching editions of the last 20 years, Jean-Etienne Amaury talked about the universality of cycling in which ASO plays an important role next to the UCI. In this context (read: the internationalisation of cycling which the International Cycling Union, UCI, cares so much about) he mainly mentioned the Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman and the Tour of Beijing which are all organised by ASO, as well as their partnership with the Tour of California.

When he indicated that ASO clearly places this international development at the heart of its company strategy it was thus understood that ASO will continue to be implicated at the same level as for the Tour of Beijing in the new projects of the commercial (!) daughter company Global Cycling Promotion (GCP) of the UCI. Concerning the GCP, the word is out on future races to be organised in Russia (the project which will become truth first) but also about Brazil and India ... Will these races also get the UCI WorldTour status right from the start?

The introduction by Christian Prudhomme and by André Gilles, Président du Collège de la Province de Liège

Christian Prudhomme, director of cycling with Amaury Sport Organisation and thus (among others) director of the Tour de France, did a very good transition between the 2011 and the 2012 edition of the Tour de France. According to him, the 99th Tour will start from a place which is full of cycling culture: the Province of Liège loves cycling and (...) the Ardennes classics prove it every year (yes indeed, it was partly thanks to these classics, also organised by ASO, that the Province of Liège was able to have a good relationship with ASO, which most probably helped it to get its candidature for a new Grand Départ of the Tour de France accepted, after the one in 2004).

After having reminded the different Grands Départs of the Tour de France from Belgium (Brussels in 1958, Charleroi in 1975 and already Liège in 2004), each time in the Walloon part of the country, Christian Prudhomme handed over the microphone to André Gilles, the Président du Collège de la Province de Liège. Before he did so, the director of the Tour de France reminded the first Belgian victory in the Tour de France will celebrate its 100 years at the Grand Départ from Liège because it was in 1912, during the Tour de France which started at the Luna Park (an amusement park close to the Porte Maillot which now no longer exists), that Odile Defraye won the Grande Boucle before abandoning in the next two editions.

André Gilles said he was a happy man, explaining that the Province of Liège is impatient to warmly welcom the next Grand Départ of the Tour de France and reminding of the logistical infrastructures in Liège and the other big sporting events which already took place in the Belgian province, including stages of the Tour, the Vuelta and the Giro! As Mister Gilles hinted, the only thing now missing would be the World Championships!

Finally, André Gilles explained that the fever is getting higher already in the Province and that it has thus decided to organise on 2 December in Liège the Night of the Tour with a light and music show on the Palais Provincial.

The presentation of the 20 stages and the prologue of the Tour de France 2012 in video

After these introductions, it was finally time for Christian Prudhomme to present the 20 stages of the Tour de France 2012 and its prologue. Before doing so, he made a joke of the unwanted publication of the stages of the Tour de France 2012 on the official website of the race, of which the discovery is being disputed between Stephan van der Zwan of the website (a general Dutch website on cycling and semi-partner of ASO) and Paddy Sweeney of (organiser of cycling trips in the Pyrenees which publishes each year, like me but with a little bit less success, the race course of the Tour de France before its official publication. Indeed, with a smile on his face, Christian Prudhomme said that ASO had announced, as a worldwide first, even before the written press, the race route of the Tour de France 2012. A sporting way to explain the clear and unfortunate error of the IT team behind the official website which published, by mistake, the whole Tour race route even though it was still getting in all the elements [the map, the right descriptions, etc,] (see the article The Tour de France 2012, a Tour made of transfers for more information about this mistake).

Let's now give way to Christian Prudhomme who commented each of these stages of the Tour de France 2012, giving out some details about some of them. A long video but which is worth having a look at if you want to know each of the different stages and ASO's vision on each of them ...

The new yellow jersey of the Tour de France, designed by Le Coq Sportif

In June, I already announced you that Le Coq Sportif will become, from 2012, the new jersey supplier of Amaury Sport Organisation on all cycling races organised by the company from Issy-les-Moulineaux, at the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the French brand.

After the presentation of the stages, Christian Prudhomme than showed a video on which we saw Bernard Hinault on a bike in the forest of Marly close to Paris who ran into Yannick Noah, ambassador of the brand with the rooster. Everyone of course already knew that this was to be the not very funny way of ASO and of Le Coq Sportif to present the new jersey, which will not be used for the first time in the Tour de France 2012 but in Paris-Nice 2012 (if I remember correctly, the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman use different jersey, at least until 2011). Indeed, in his discussion with Yannick Noah, Bernard Hinault asked the tennisman and French singer what the (black!) jersey was he was wearing and Yannick than explained that this was a prototype of the new Le Coq Sportif jersey and that he could pass on the real yellow jersey on 18 October. The two men than came on the podium and Yannick Noah simply handed over the yellow jersey (which doesn't really change that much except for of course the Nike logo which is substituted by the Le Coq Sportif logo and a small bleu/white/red flag in the collar) to Bernard Hinault.
(sorry for the video quality, this was filmed from far away)

That was thus a small deception for this usually innovating brand in terms of communication and marketing, which usually uses a retro look and from which it was thus expected to bring out the new jersey, expected to be with a retro look, with a big show, why not for example with a giant jersey falling from the roof ... Let's hope the derived products which the brand will create around the Tour de France will be less deceiving! Indeed, I think the partnership between Le Coq Sportif and ASO has big potentials in terms of image and communication. But each of the parties still need to want to use this in a correct, useful and interesting way!


The end: the photo sessions

The presentation than ended with some of the riders in the room being asked to get on the podium (too bad for the others!) and take place around the map of the Tour de France 2012 before the representatives of the different cities and departments played the game "I point my finger on the map on my site because the Tour will come there next year", a game which gives each of the cities a first unforgettable souvenir which can be used as much as they want to announce the Tour de France to come.

The interview with Jérémy Roy

It was than for me time to get to see Jérémy Roy for our end of season interview in which we also discussed his first feedback on the Tour de France 2012 race course. You might have discovered this interview last Tuesday in the article Jérémy Roy (FDJ): I think the Tour de France 2012 will be quite difficult anyway! (video interview).

The photos of the official presentation of the Tour de France 2012

If you'd like to discover 28 photos of the official presentation of the de France 2012 you can click on this link.

door Thomas Vergouwen
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4 comments | 4204 views

this publication is published in: Tour de France | Tour de France 2012


There are 4 comments!
  1. Thomas les videos sont "aphones".

    | pascal51 | Thursday 20 October 2011 om 09h35

  2. Bonjour pascal51,

    Je pense que ce problème vient de votre ordinateur car pour moi cela fonctionne et j'ai également testé sur l'ordinateur de quelqu'un d'autre pour qui cela fonctionne également correctement avec le son !

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Thursday 20 October 2011 om 10h11

  3. Bonjour Thomas, merci pour ta disponibilité, j' ai redémarré, le son est revenu.

    | pascal51 | Thursday 20 October 2011 om 10h53

  4. merci beaucoup,j'avais raté la présentation télévisée.
    on sent dans la fin de son discours que le TDf repassera par ces nouveaux endroits et en fera découvrir d'autres dans les années à venir.
    On sent aussi (et je suis du même avis) que cette manière de rendre des ultimes montées moins difficiles est une manière pour ASo de forcer les leaders à se découvrir plus tôt

    | cytep | Sunday 30 October 2011 om 00h33

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