It is Marc Madiot, the manager of Groupama-FDJ, who poses the problem: “I am in favor of major departures abroad, he says. We just need to be compensated a little more significantly.”. And for good reason: the start of the Tour de France will be given from Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, on Friday 1 July. The Grande Boucle has never gone so far north.
The 176 cyclists arrived in the queen city of cycling on Wednesday. And who says distant departure says double logistics for each team, assures Marc Madiot: “We are forced to partly double the workforce but also the equipment. Normally, it is a bus, a truck, cars, to put it simply. When you have transfers of this type, you have a bus in the country of departure and a bus waiting for the others at the finish on the initial ground of the race. Already there, it doubles. And then the staff.”
“It’s difficult to have the same staff at the starting point and for the return to the initial ground of the race. So in terms of logistics, it’s a real headache”Marc Madiot
And of course, this Danish departure means significant additional costs as detailed, with an example, Vincent Lavenu, the manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team: “Even when you’re moving two big trucks thousands of miles, that’s an extra cost. Especially right now with gas prices. When we are going to leave Denmark, inevitably, some of the staff will not have the possibility of arriving in France immediately. So we have to provide spare teams. The additional envelope should be around 25,000 to 30,000 euros”.
The teams receive each year from the organizers of the Grand Tours [le Tour de France, le Giro en Italie et la Vuelta en Espagne] 55,000 euros to pay for hotels and travel. But the envelope is now largely insufficient, judge many team bosses, including Marc Madiot: “The fact that we are leaving abroad is rather rewarding. I have no problem with that. Except that the three should not do it in the same year. That’s a problem. And then, we should also be compensated a little more than we are currently.”
“It is often said that the teams are compensated for participating. But at the end of each Tour de France, I redo a check for additional accommodation costs.”Marc Madiot, manager of Groupama-FDJ
The manager of the FDJ explains that this financial support only covers part of the salary of its staff: “We have 24 support people on a big Tour, where we are today at a minimum of between 30 and 34 people to make a team work. Because today a team no longer functions as it functioned ten or fifteen years ago.”
To compensate for the departure given from Hungary, this year, the Tour of Italy (from May 6 to 29) exceptionally granted an additional envelope of 30,000 euros, says Vincent Lavenu to franceinfo. The teams have not heard of the same approach for the Tour de France and its big start in Copenhagen.