A passion for cycling and the Tour de France

A passion for cycling and the Tour de France

Škoda and cycling go together like love and marriage – in fact, bicycles are how the whole story began. That is one of the reasons Škoda is partnering with the legendary Tour de France for the 20th year. Škoda employees are proud of this partnership, especially the company’s keen cyclists!

30. 6. 2023 Lifestyle

The 110th year of cycling’s most famous stage race will start on 1 July in Bilbao, Spain. Race director Christian Prudhomme will send the riders on the first 182-kilometre stage aboard a red Škoda Enyaq.

Before it all kicks off, watch the video to see how the Czech carmaker’s employees came up with an unconventional celebration of the 20th anniversary of partnership between Škoda and this legendary race:

A passion for two wheels and four

People who work for Škoda are usually associated only with cars, but that could be a mistake. You will find lots of enthusiastic cyclists in Mladá Boleslav and at other Škoda plants. What does cycling mean to them and what experiences has it given them?

1. Dana Kochová, capacity management specialist in Purchasing

Dana Kochová

Cycling is a passion and a sport that I do regularly. I ride my bike to work and in my free time, and I do various types of cycling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a road bike, a mountain bike or a folding bike: every kilometre counts. Outdoing myself is my biggest achievement, whether I’m racing or just out on a ride. I believe that anyone who gets on a bike and sets out beats those who stay home.

For me, the Tour de France is one of the most prestigious cycling events. Although I didn’t personally participate, I experienced the incredible atmosphere of L’Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France. I long to see the Tour de France for myself and soak up that unique atmosphere at least once.

Cycling is not only fun and relaxing, it’s a way to keep fit and cope with work challenges. Endurance, preparation and the ability to overcome obstacles are skills that come in handy in my work for Škoda. In addition, as a cyclist I can think of innovative solutions for travelling with a bike and contribute to the development of new cars.

2. Petr Šedivý, innovations coordinator in Technical Development

Petr Šedivý

Even though I live in Prague and drive to work, I travel over ten thousand kilometres by bike every year. The greatest experience for me is L’Etape races, which offer amateur racers a Tour de France-like atmosphere. My most challenging race was L’Etape in France, where I pitted my powers against the iconic stages of last year’s Tour de France.

That race marks the annual highlight of the cycling season for me –  summer, sunflowers, the French countryside, the fans and the emotions of the riders. I visited the Tour de France as a fan and also took part in a stage as a member of the Škoda support team. The atmosphere during the race is incredible and everyone should experience the Tour de France for themselves.

In the last twenty years I’ve had many unforgettable moments connected with the race. For example, when Chris Froome lost his bike on the climb up Mt. Ventoux and had to run on foot, or when the race was abandoned due to a hail storm. The greatest experience for me was the Slovenian duel between Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič in the penultimate stage of the 2020 edition.

Did you know…

Škoda support cars have now participated in 399 stages of the previous nineteen editions of the Tour de France. After this year’s race, that number will rise to 420 stages.

Since 2015, Škoda has been the official green jersey partner for the leading rider in the sprinters’ points competition.

Between 2004 and 2014, Škoda was also the official partner of the white jersey for the best overall rider under 25.

As cycling is one of the pillars of Škoda’s sponsorship strategy, the brand also offers a wide range of related products, such as bicycles and a wide range of cycling accessories.

 The overall winner of the race will raise a trophy made of Czech crystal designed by Škoda Design over his head at the finish line. Škoda Design has been designing trophies for Tour de France winners since 2011.

Like it does every year, the Czech carmaker will supply the organisers with a fleet of several hundred Škoda cars, including the Enyaq director’s vehicle.

In addition to the famous “Old Lady”, as the Tour de France is known, Škoda also supports L’Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec ZWIFT, as well as a number of other events throughout the season.

3. Martin Fiedler, sales systems management and development coordinator

Martin Fiedler

Cycling is not just a sport for me, it’s a passion that is also reflected in my work for Škoda. I cycle to and from work every day, which allows me to keep fit and enjoy the ride at the same time. I cycle around 3,500 kilometres a year, but that’s never enough – I always try to find time for more and more cycling trips.

My greatest cycling experience was climbing the Passo dello Stelvio, one of the most famous passes in the Alps. This climbing race was a huge challenge for me but also an incredible experience. In addition, I also ride on Ještěd mountain, which is also very picturesque.

The Tour de France means a lot to me, both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to be present at the last stage of the Tour de France in 2015 right on the Champs Elysées in Paris. This inspired me and I became more interested in road cycling and eventually triathlon as well.

One of the most powerful experiences in the last twenty years associated with the Tour de France for me was the Slovenian battle for the yellow jersey in the time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles in 2020. As a fan and a professional triathlete, this part of the race thrilled me and filled me with unforgettable emotions.