The Mobile Command Center

The Mobile Command Center


Managing the Tour de France is no easy task, requiring immense organization and clear communication. At the heart of the logistical network, controlling all facets of the race, is the Red Car from which the Tour Director Christian Prudhomme manages the Tour.

15. 7. 2016

Every morning Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, settles himself into the back seat of a specially modified ŠKODA SUPERB. In anticipation of the day’s race stage, he stretches his 190 cm frame in the spacious interior and helps himself to a drink from the small refrigerator next to his command console. He radios his race marshals, checks in with race headquarters. Then, with everything in place, he gives the green light to start the day’s stage, leading the peloton as it surges ahead.

The modified car features an impressive range of technical equipment, including six radio antennas on the roof, several microphones and four radio channels installed on a console. It’s from here that Prudhomme transmits and receives orders and information, organizes traffic movement around the peloton, and stays in constant contact with race marshals and other Tour cars. For its special purpose as a Red Car it was also fitted with a huge panoramic glass roof that can be opened from the rear.

The new generation of ŠKODA SUPERB has been sprayed with the noticeable ‘Corrida Red’ – especially for its appearance as the ‘Red Car’, belonging to the event’s director. For the powertrain, a 2.0 TDI/140 kW (190 PS) engine coupled with a DSG six-speed transmission is used. With the most interior space in its segment, the ŠKODA SUPERB makes the perfect mobile command center for Tour management.

It’s from here he’ll also entertain dignitaries, such as French President François Hollande, ready to serve them chilled Champagne from the minibar and present them with panoramic views through the car’s retractable glass roof.

Speaking about the car Prudhomme says: “I love my ŠKODA SUPERB. It’s a fantastic car. Gilles Maignan, my driver, is 6’2″ [190 cm] like me, and I can sit in the back very comfortably – even crossing my legs isn’t a problem.”

As the official Red Car leading the rider field, the ŠKODA SUPERB will be visible to millions of fans, especially since it’s the only car permitted to cross each stage’s finish line with the riders.

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