The list of cyclists to first climb one of the highest passes in the French Alps includes Nairo Quintana, Primoz Roglic, Andy Schleck, Eddy Merckx and Marco Pantani. But the roaring of fans is now replaced with silence. Mont Blanc looms on the horizon, a bird of prey is circling high in the sky, the sun shines brightly, with an almost beach-like intensity, and the late summer afternoon is refreshed by a cool breeze.
“Hi, I'm Cam,” the 23-year-old Northern Irishman who has just dismounted from his bike says. Cameron is a professional athlete and internet influencer whose YouTube channel has over one hundred thousand followers. “This is my first time here, this place is perfect. The views around are simply breath-taking - just like the air which, at this altitude, lacks the usual amount of oxygen,” he says, adding that just a few passages were enough for him to understand how difficult this is for the cyclists when a Tour de France stage takes them here. Not only do they have to cycle a huge number of kilometres, but they also have to get ready for really arduous climbs.
You can’t miss the Tour director’s car red paint.
While the traditional ŠKODA SUPERB iV plays the main role in most stages, this year it was replaced with a new car on certain days: the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV in velvet red metallic. It differs from the future mass-produced electric cars from Mladá Boleslav has several modifications: above the rear seats, there is a sunroof from which Director Christian Prudhomme starts the race. There is a five-channel radio inside for excellent connection with other Tour stakeholders, especially with his commissioners and other escort vehicles. Signal transmission is provided by six antennas protruding from the roof and the rear of the car. Between the rear seats, there is the famous refrigerator for cooling Champagne which the race manager serves to his guests.
The red paint of the Tour lead car cannot be overlooked, and it is no wonder that the ENYAQ iV attracts attention wherever it goes. People stop, take pictures and ask about various details. It is obvious that the Tour de France is deep in the minds of the French and most people recognize the race logo at a glance.
ŠKODA ENYAQ iV in velvet red metallic paint accompanying Cameron Jeffers at Col du Galibier.
“The ENYAQ iV has impressed me with its lightness and silence. Although it is slightly larger than the SUPERB, its handling is extremely easy,” Cameron says about it; of course, he enjoyed a test drive in the car, premièred a few weeks before. “The impression has been underpinned with its spacious interior and aesthetic, cultivated user interface. All commands and instructions can be easily entered by simply touching the screen,” Cameron notes.