Claudine Fangille, the new race director, doesn’t conceal his reduction. This version of the Étoile de Bessèges which takes place from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 February has a dream plateau. There are particularly three winners of the Tour de France whose Egan Bernal in the peloton. TheStar of Bessèges is the first stage biking race of the season. The tricolor occasions are additionally nearly the solely ones to have withstood the Covid-19 pandemic. In Spain, Australia and the Middle East, most of the occasions have been canceled. A boon for the groups that the Etoile de Bessèges can maintain, however it comes at a value for the organizers.
Until the finish, we had to redouble our efforts and volunteer arms in order that Raymond Poulidor’s favourite race might have a good time its fiftieth anniversary. “We were forced to take additional volunteers since there is a closed door on the departure and arrival site, says Claudine Fangille. This means that it is more staff, so yes, it is sure that it was complicated to set up. But hey, we got there! “
Faced with the extra prices and uncertainties, different organizers have had to hand over. We assume of the well-known Denain Grand Prix or the Tour de Bretagne. There, the municipalities weren’t in favor of the closed session: not sufficient visibility. With a finances of 800,000 euros, the Étoile de Bessèges has taken the bull by the horns by turning into its own producer of images. A means to be seen overseas, explains Claudine Fangille.
“We are the ones who resell the images that will be broadcast internationally, in Denmark, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium.”Claudine Fangille
“People will be able to be in front of their TV and see the pictures, she continues. It was also the wish of the municipalities that welcome us to open up to the international market. “
The TV broadcast has become, in time behind closed doorways, the situation to exist, acknowledges Pierre-Maurice Courtade, at the head of the Tour de la Provence, which is due to begin in every week with Julian Alaphilippe. “Yes, it’s one of the sinews of war, he explains. It is essential for the return for the communities that welcome us: today our Tour de Provence is broadcast by more than 190 countries around the world. “
“It is a magnificent showcase for the territories that we are going to cross, it is the local economy.”Pierre-Maurice Courtade
But even with the world champion Julian Alaphilippe headlining, it was obligatory to put a hand in the pocket to make ends meet. TV is dear. “We had to fight, concedes Pierre-Maurice Courtade. It’s almost 30% of the Tour de la Provence budget, so it’s not trivial. We are increasing costs when we have fewer partners since we have lost some whose activities have been closed for ten months. “
As for the Étoile de Bessèges, having managed to preserve the race and see it broadcast overseas is a gorgeous tribute to its founder, Claudine’s father, Roland Fangille, who died of the coronavirus in November. “I tell myself that if he was there he would be proud”, she smiles. For the first time since 1971, the race will begin with out him however will begin anyway.