Between the Greens and the Tour de France, the balance of power is straining. Since this summer, elected ecologists, brought to power during the last municipal elections, have questioned the environmental and societal model of the race (Release August 29). The boss of the cycling event, Christian Prudhomme, responded very strongly on Wednesday to these political pressure blows. Before the departure of the 17e step in Grenoble, on the square of the town hall, Prudhomme put on his politician’s clothes: “The Tour de France is an event that unites and brings people together. Do not break [cela] ! There are so many communities, communitarianisms, people who are separating! ” he drew, targeting without naming them the elected green. Under the gaze of Eric Piolle, the environmental mayor of the city, who had just declared that it was necessary “Let it move”. Left hand on the belt buckle, the organizer insists on the “we” when he declares “We talk to people” and awakens the patriotic flame: “The Tour is our country!”
“But what has this to do with sauerkraut?” asks David Cormand. MEP EE-LV analyzes this political battle while reaffirming the majority point of view within his movement: “It is demagogue to suggest that we are leading a direct attack against France when we wonder about waste management, that we question the imagination of the Tour’s advertising and consumption.” He recalls that Amaury sport organization (ASO), owner of the third world sporting event, “Is a private company that requires public funding”. As such, he judges, she has “Homeworks”.
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Cormand cites the example of the Belles Filles board (Haute-Saône), where the finish of the decisive time trial will be judged this Saturday. “Ten years ago, green associations denounced the construction of a road to the top by the departmental council to host a stage of the Tour, explains Cormand to Release. Today, residents are wondering where the economic benefits they were promised have gone. “
The former national secretary of EE-LV ensures that no discussion has taken place within the party to adopt a common position on the Tour de France. The tension began in August with the refusal of the PS mayor of Rennes, Nathalie Appéré, at the instigation of the local Greens, to welcome the great start of the Tour 2021. Thus opening a breach. In Release, Pierre Hurmic, his counterpart in Bordeaux, says he will only host a stage on condition of “More sobriety” from ASO. Some environmental officials received the Tour this year on the basis of contracts signed by their predecessors. Léonore Moncond’huy (Poitiers) and Grégory Doucet (Lyon) took the opportunity to issue criticisms. The latter declares to Progress than “The Tour de France continues to convey a macho image of sport”.
Christian Prudhomme is annoyed by these interventions in the press: “Only discussion without speaking in the media first can help. It’s just common sense. ” David Cormand quipped: “Prudhomme is more used to interacting with elected officials whom he has invited in the race director’s car …” The MEP calls on ASO to engage in dialogue. A first in the history of the Tour de France, which had never been the subject of such a political challenge by local elected officials since its creation in 1903.
Romain Boulho special correspondent on the Tour