Practical, inexpensive, clean and environmentally friendly, cycling helps to reclaim the public space and enhances the living environment of inhabitants. The Grand Est Region aspires to become the first cycling-friendly region in France and offer its citizens a safe means of transport in line with their expectations.
To flesh out this ambition, the Region held an event wholly dedicated to cycling on Tuesday 15 February 2022, inviting local authorities, urban planning agencies, institutional partners, non-profit organisations, sports clubs and economic and educational actors to help to put together a 360-degree cycling-friendly strategy!
A PARTICIPATORY SEMINAR TO BECOME THE FIRST CYCLING-FRIENDLY REGION IN FRANCE
Mobility, the economy, education, tourism, health, sport, territorial cohesion and high schools: the strategy aims to be a real 360-degree plan devised together with the movers and shakers of the field.
More than 230 people attended the seminar in person at the seat of the Region in Strasbourg or via video conference. They broke new ground, exchanged impressions and shared information —including in thematic working groups— on the current state of cycling, looming challenges and future objectives. The President of the Grand Est Region, Jean Rottner, presented the ambition of the Region and charted out the first areas of interest for the development of a regional cycling strategy. Next to him was Tour de France Director and guest speaker Christian Prudhomme, who set out his view of the challenges faced by cycling, such as bridging the gap between competitive cycling and cycling in everyday life. The first step in this direction is the formalisation of the partnership between the Region and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE FEMMES AVEC ZWIFT
The Region and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift have struck a partnership for the inaugural edition of the race, scheduled for 24 to 31 July 2022. Six of the eight stages on the programme will take place in Grand Est. The event will also showcase the Region's aspiration to promote cycling across its territory.
Jean Rottner, Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Director Marion Rousse and Christian Prudhomme unveiled the partnership on Tuesday 15 February 2022.
The Grand Est Region, an official partner of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, will sponsor the combativity award to promote gender equality and put the spotlight on the measures taken to tackle violence against women.
"Heading into the new edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, the Grand Est Region is proud to be the official partner of the combativity award, handed to the most aggressive rider in each stage. Teaming up with an international event of this scale reflects the Region's wish to support women's sports and all their values, as well as to exhibit all the great things that our land has to offer. I urge the people of Grand Est to join in this celebration of cycling, support these great athletes from the roadsides and in the host towns and cities, and discover every day the measures taken by Grand Est to make gender equality a reality", said Jean Rottner.
"There are two things in particular about our partnership with the Grand Est Region that please me. One is that it celebrates brave riders who push their limits and make this sport what it is through the combativity award; the other is that it gives us the opportunity to work together to spread the message that cycling should be developed as a part of everyday life, everywhere and for everyone", stated Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Director Marion Rousse.
The eight stages of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift:
- Sunday 24 July - Stage 1: Paris Eiffel Tower > Paris Champs-Élysées, 82 km
- Monday 25 July - Stage 2: Meaux > Provins, 135 km
- Tuesday 26 July - Stage 3: Reims > Épernay, 133 km
- Wednesday 27 July - Stage 4: Troyes > Bar-Sur-Aube, 126 km
- Thursday 28 July - Stage 5: Bar-le-Duc > Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, 175 km
- Friday 29 July - Stage 6: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges > Rosheim, 128 km
- Saturday 30 July - Stage 7: Sélestat > Le Markstein, 127 km
- Sunday 31 July - Stage 8: Lure > Super Planche des Belles Filles, 123 km
Competitive cycling in Grand Est :
- 5,260 licence holders in 165 clubs;
- 11 top-flight cyclists backed by the Grand Est Region, including Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (road cycling, cyclo-cross and mountain biking —world champion in 2019 and 2020 and tenth in the Tokyo Olympics) and Maxime Marotte (fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics cyclo-cross race and current French champion); and
- over €500,000 in regional funds for cycling every year.