ŠKODA AUTO was an official sponsor and vehicle partner of the French cycling tour for the 15th time and provided a total of 250 support and escort vehicles, including the ŠKODA SUPERB as the ‘Red Car’ for Tour Director Christian Prudhomme.
The 105th edition of arguably the toughest cycling race in the world began on 7 July on the Atlantic island of Noirmoutier. During the three-week-long cycling tour, the 176 professional cyclists conquered 21 stages, including numerous challenging mountain passes. Over the course of the Tour, Geraint Thomas quickly established himself as a hot contender for the overall win. The Welshman seized the yellow jersey during the 11th stage and wore it with poise all the way to Paris. Even team colleague, Tour favourite and last year’s winner Christopher Froome couldn’t beat the 32-year-old.
ŠKODA drove into the spotlight at the Tour de France as the sponsor of the green jersey for the points classification winner for a fourth year. The title of best sprinter was taken by Slovakian Peter Sagan, who won the prestigious award for the sixth year in a row. Just like the trophy for the overall winner, the trophy awarded to the winner of the points classification is also ‘designed by ŠKODA Design’ and ‘made in the Czech Republic’. The car manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav has been designing the trophies for the winners of the world-famous cycling race since 2011. The 60-cm-tall masterpieces of Czech glass art weighing 4 kg are manufactured by the company Lasvit. The elegant silhouette of the trophies has long been a trademark of the Tour de France; whilst their dimensions always remain the same, ŠKODA designers always surprise with creative new ideas when it comes to the design of the surfaces. This year the trophy pays homage to the geometric patterns and angular shapes of Czech cubism.
ŠKODA SUPERB continues as ‘Red Car’ for Tour Director Christian Prudhomme
ŠKODA has sponsored the Tour de France since 2004 and once again provided 250 support and escort vehicles for the peloton this year. In addition to the ŠKODA OCTAVIA, the fleet also included the two SUVs, the ŠKODA KODIAQ and ŠKODA KAROQ, as well as the ŠKODA SUPERB. The brand’s flagship resumed its role at the front as the most important car in the entire Tour: the Tour Director traditionally uses the red hatchback as a mobile command centre. Christian Prudhomme is constantly kept up to date and issues race- or safety-related instructions via several radio channels. Thanks to the car’s large panoramic glass roof, which opens at the push of a button, Prudhomme could stand in the rear and oversee the peloton from an optimal position.
ŠKODA campaign ‘Always there for those who ride’
ŠKODA’s new 360-degree campaign also took off at just the right time for the start of the pinnacle event in the cycling world with the motto ‘Always there for those who ride’. The car manufacturer positioned it pride of place on their website WeLoveCycling.com and on several social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. At www.welovecycling.com, passionate cycling fans can find out all about the largest cycling event in the world.
Links to cycling from the outset
ŠKODA’s passion for cycling dates back to the beginnings of the company’s history. In 1895, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded a bicycle factory in the Bohemian town of Mladá Boleslav. Just ten years later, the ‘Voiturette A’ was the first motor car to roll out of the young company’s workshop. In 1925, Laurin & Klement merged with ŠKODA. Besides the Tour de France and the Spanish cycling tour (La Vuelta), the car manufacturer also supports other international cycling races, as well as numerous national and international grass-roots events. In addition, bicycle accessories are a key component in the brand’s expanded product range.