Tour de France – ŠKODA AUTO
Leading the peloton
ŠKODA supports the largest cycling event of the year for the 17th time in a row
t the end of August and in September, cycling fans’ attention was drawn to France. The reason is that this year’s biggest sporting event, the 107th Tour de France, took place on the country’s roads. As in previous years, the world’s most famous multiple-stage cycling race captivated with its dramatic course and great sports performances. Millions of spectators once again saw the ŠKODA brand, which was the official main partner of the race, nicknamed the La Grande Boucle.
kilometres covered during the longest stage
ENYAQ iV on the road
The ŠKODA ENYAQ iV e-car became one of the stars of this year’s Tour peloton. In the fifth stage, on the day following the model’s world premiere, a specially modified version transported race director Christian Prudhomme, who coordinated the course of the race from the cab. The special equipment of the so-called Red Car enabled the charismatic boss to remain in contact with the race stewards and other organisational cars and to pass along information about the state of the race to them. The purely electric SUV played the role of Red Car in two further stages at the end of the three-week race and also crossed the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The brand-new Mladá Boleslav–made e-car was part of the fleet of 250 cars provided by ŠKODA to the organisers and race management. Thirty of them are models of the ŠKODA iV family with a plug-in hybrid drive. Just like bicycles, they represent sustainable individual mobility. Therefore, the Tour de France has also become an ideal way to introduce these cars to an international audience. ED
A heart for cycling
The carmaker’s history started 125 years ago with bicycle production. That is why ŠKODA AUTO has supported professional and amateur cycling at various levels for a long period. In addition to the La Grande Boucle or Vuelta multiple-stage races, our company partners with a number of other national and international cycling competitions. Bicycles and bicycle accessories also form an integral part of the brand’s extended product range.
Transformation in secrecy
onverting the ENYAQ iV into the Red Car started in early June this year and was carried out in complete secrecy. In cooperation with an external company, the Marketing department team participated in the process and consulted on the modifications with the professional departments of Technical Development. They tried to maintain maximum safety and, wherever possible, a maximum number of car features and zero interference with the crew’s comfort. One of the most difficult tasks was installing a skylight. Having cut out the hole, the technicians used a SUPERB roof window, including the frame and modified reinforcements. To make it easier for the director to get up when leading the peloton from the car during a stage, they installed a pad about 40 mm high between the roof and the roof racks. The race director’s control panel is located on the centre console of the rear seats; among other things, it provides for a radio connection using five radios between which it is possible to switch, including a volume control or a beacon. These new electrical devices required a specially designed and developed external power supply that works without interfering with the car’s internal system. The supply apparatus is hidden in a box covering about half of the luggage compartment and containing two batteries with a capacity of 72 Ah, external chargers, a holder for the five radios and their control unit.
Explore the Race Directos’s ENYAQ iV
To respond to the Tour de France’s specific needs, the car is equipped with special horns.
ŠKODA cars in the race management fleet
ŠKODA iVs on the track
metres above sea level marked the highest elevation of this year’s race