Mladá Boleslav, 26 June 2017 – The 104th Tour de France starts on 1 July. After the Grand Départ in Dusseldorf, the cycling pros face a total of 21 stages, covering more than 3,500 kilometres. On 23 July, the grand finale will take place on the Champs Elysées in Paris where the athletes will cross the finish line. ŠKODA has been supporting the most famous cycling race in the world since 2004 as an official partner and vehicle partner and is participating for the 14th time in 2017. The top model SUPERB will be accompanying the entire tour as the 'red car', serving Tour Director Christian Prudhomme as a mobile control centre. The traditional Czech brand is providing 250 vehicles for the organisers and to accompany the peloton. One highlight will be three ŠKODA KAROQs flanking selected teams during the starting stage in Dusseldorf. ŠKODA is also sponsoring the Green Jersey for the best Sprinter for the third time.
At the beginning of July, all eyes in the cycling world will be on Germany. Düsseldorf is hosting the first stage of this year’s Tour de France starting on 1 July. One day later, the second stage, which takes the participants to Liège, Belgium, commences in the Rhine metropolis. On the third day of the race, the cyclists will be riding on French soil for the first time. Altogether, they will be crossing four countries, including Luxembourg during the Tour de France 2017. The finish of the 104th Tour takes place on 23 July on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. The athletes will cover a total of 3,540 km in 21 stages.
ŠKODA provides 250 organisation and accompanying vehicles
ŠKODA has been supporting the famous Tour of France since 2004, and this year is the official partner and vehicle partner for the 14th time. In total, the brand will be providing 250 cars as organisational and accompanying vehicles. The fleet includes, among others, the new SUV ŠKODA KODIAQ, the extensively upgraded ŠKODA OCTAVIA and the ŠKODA SUPERB. The traditional Czech brand’s flagship will be leading the field as the ‘Red Car’. The SUPERB saloon, painted in eye-catching 'Corrida Red', features a panoramic roof that can be opened at the touch of a button from the second row of seats, allowing Tour Director Christian Prudhomme to stand up in the rear with the roof open. He will be able to see the peloton perfectly before he grants approval for the start of each stage. Numerous other technical features make the SUPERB the ideal mobile control centre for the Tour: The vehicle receives several radio channels on which Prudhomme can gather information and subsequently give sporting or safety instructions. As a special highlight ŠKODA will be using three new ŠKODA KAROQs, which will accompany three teams along the route, as a service vehicle during the opening stage in Düsseldorf.
During the three weeks of continuous use, the ŠKODA fleet of 250 cars will cover some 2.8 million kilometres. Since 2004, the total distance travelled in the Tour de France amounts to more than 30 million kilometres. Every day, a ŠKODA service team ensures that the 250 vehicles are in perfect shape for the upcoming stage.
In addition to the company’s involvement as a vehicle partner, ŠKODA is supporting the Tour de France as the sponsor of the Green Jersey for the best sprinter for the third time in a row.
ŠKODA’s new campaign motto: ‘Ride On’
The three weeks of the Tour de France are a highlight every year for cycling pros, amateurs and fans alike. For the participants, it is a matter of persevering even when the mountains seem impossible to climb. This mixture of fighting spirit and motivation is captured by ŠKODA’s new 360-degree campaign, which the manufacturer is launching for this year's Tour de France. 'Ride on' is its claim.
ŠKODA is featuring the new 'Ride On' campaign prominently on its social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on its website at https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/tour-de-france-2017/. Passionate cycling fans can find all the lastest information on the largest cycling race in the world and even a special version of the famous Queen song 'Bicycle Race'. Site visitors also have the chance to win an exclusive VIP trip to the Tour de France.
At WeLoveCycling.com ŠKODA presents another internet platform dedicated to cycling. Visitors to the site will find helpful tips on buying bicycles, as well as nutritional recommendations. There are also videos portraying the current stars on the cycling scene, such as the six-time Paralympic Gold winner Jiří Ježek, and Stephen Roche who has won the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the UCI Road World Championships. Fans can participate in a contest on the Tour de France at WeLoveCycling.com and have the chance to win attractive prizes. Fans can find out which member of the ŠKODA Vélo Family they are most like in an interactive quiz.
The ŠKODA story began with the bicycle
ŠKODA's passion for cycling goes back to the beginnings of the company’s history, which started with the bicycle. In 1895 - 122 years ago - Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded a bicycle manufactory in the Bohemian town of Mladá Boleslav. Ten years later, the Voiturette A became the first automobile of the young company to leave the workshop. In 1925 Laurin & Klement merged with ŠKODA. Today, cycling is a cornerstone of ŠKODA’s sponsorship strategy. In addition to sponsoring the Tour de France and the Spanish Tour ('Vuelta'), the Czech car manufacturer supports other international cycling races, as well as numerous national and international cycling events. Bicycles and accessories are also part of ŠKODA’s extended product range.