The third edition of the "Tour de France Cycle City" label brings the total number of recipients to 133 across 8 countries. About 8.7 million people now reap the benefits of the initiatives launched by the local authorities involved with the Tour de France. This year, 25 towns and cities applied for the first time.
The label jury is delighted with the quality of the applications: 30 out of 32 candidates got a rating of at least two bicycles, rewarding communities with a structured policy to promote cycling.
The 2023 crop of labels comes with the "Mai à Vélo" campaign in full swing. This is another initiative in which the French municipalities redouble their efforts to popularise cycling.
The "Tour de France Cycle City" label has had a unique approach since 2021. It gives municipalities that have hosted the Tour de France or the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift at least once the chance to get an assessment of their policies to promote cycling as a day-to-day means of transport, a leisure activity or a competitive sport. From investments in infrastructure and services to awareness-raising and cycling education, the applications submitted by the 32 candidates in 2023 were extremely detailed. As well as recognising bicycle-friendly towns and cities, the label is a valuable tool for identifying avenues for improvement. Seven applications were renewed in 2023: Changé, Châteauroux, Cluses, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Paris, Roanne, and Tarbes. The assessment proved to Châteauroux (3 bicycles), Cluses (3 bicycles) and Roanne (3 bicycles) to see that their efforts since 2021 to make these towns more and more welcoming for cyclists are useful and have been well received.
The cycling plans on the table are increasingly ambitious and well funded, as local authorities keep their momentum going and throw their weight behind the development of cycling like never before. This third edition includes 25 new towns and cities with the "Tour de France Cycle City" label and brings the number of members of this select club to 133 across 8 countries. About 8.7 million people now reap the benefits of the initiatives launched by the local authorities. The 2023 batch also rewards 8 towns of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, 12 medium-sized towns and 12 towns of more than 40,000 inhabitants, a range that mirrors the diversity of the Tour de France and drives home the point that promoting cycling is everyone's business, whatever the scale and whatever the resources available. This is the case, for example, of little rural municipalities with big ideas and an aspiration to step up their game, such as Mauriac (1 bicycle) and Collonges-la-Rouge (1 bicycle), which was also the smallest candidate collectivity at 492 inhabitants.
At the top of the class, the jury rewarded the policies of Bordeaux, Paris and Vitoria-Gasteiz with the highest possible score, four bicycles. The cities hosting the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift this year have been particularly active, with 22 applications: a special mention goes to the Basque Country, which is showcasing its cycling assets, as all the host cities of the Grand Départ have received a rating of at least two bicycles.
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France: "The Tour de France stands with local authorities to promote cycling: this is the take-home message of the 'Tour de France Cycle City' label and, more generally, our 'Riding into the Future' programme. The 2023 promotion has shown the ever-stronger commitment of local authorities, which are well aware of the social importance of the spread of cycling. 133 towns and cities with the label, almost 8.7 million people reaping the benefits of the initiatives launched by the local authorities, and this is just the beginning."
Clotilde Imbert, Director of Copenhagenize: "The 'Cycle City' label is based on many criteria, which goes to show how fleshing out a good cycling policy requires a holistic approach. Moreover, this is the only label that connects cycling mobility, cycling tourism and cycling as a sport, which is important to avoid putting the various disciplines at odds and instead leverage each of them to make sure that cycling grows in every nook and cranny. Being able to rely on so many forms of cycling turns out to be a French peculiarity that should enable local authorities to ramp up their public policies. This year, the label again showcases exemplary cities, but also sincere political commitments that still need to materialise for the roads and mobility habits of the inhabitants to evolve."
Level of certification of candidate cities for the 2023 award session:
- Labelling 1 bicycle: Mauriac, Collonges-la-Rouge.
- Labelling 2 bicycles: Amorebieta-Etxano (Spain), Bayonne, Belleville-en-Beaujolais, Bilbao (Spain), Changé, Cluses, Compiègne, Cork City (Ireland), Issoire, La Salle-les-Alpes, Laon, Laruns, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Mont-de-Marsan, Moulins, Passy, Saumur, Tarbes.
- Labelling 3 bicycles : Aigle (Switzerland), Annemasse, Bourg-en-Bresse, Châteauroux, Clermont-Ferrand, Combloux, Donostia-Saint-Sébastien (Spain), Les Gets, Roanne.
- Labelling 4 bicycles : Bordeaux, Paris, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain).
The composition of the jury for the " Tour de France Cycle City" label:
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France; Émilie Defay, deputy editor-in-chief of France Bleu Paris; Jean Ghedira, director of communication, sponsorship and general secretariat of LCL ; David Lazarus: mayor of Chambly and president of the "Sports" working group of the Association of French Mayors ; Olivier Schneider, president of the FUB ; Karine Bozzacchi, head of CSR for the Tour de France.