Hanover, Germany, 9 July 2019 – The 106th edition of the Tour de France is in full swing after its official start in Brussels on Saturday 6 July, and promises to be truly exceptional with a multitude of milestones for its passionate fans to celebrate. Going to the very heart of the event, 2019 marks a hundred years since the debut of the Yellow Jersey, the most cherished item of clothing for an aspiring champion. Through a century of competitive cycling, this “golden fleece” has been worn by some of the greatest athletes in the sport.
Indeed, the other anniversary concerns a cycling hero who’s worn the jersey more times than any other – Eddy Merckx. It’s the 50th anniversary of his first victory at the Tour in 1969; thereafter he went from strength to strength, wearing the jersey 111 times in the course of his storied career. The example of Merckx continues to inspire today’s generation to spiritedly test themselves – and each other – for glory and fame.
Last but not least, Continental is proud to embark on its first year as one of the Tour’s five Main Partners – alongside LCL, E.Leclerc, Krys and Skoda.
“We are delighted to play a major part in the biggest cycling race in the world in 2019,” says Christian Kötz, Head of Tire Division at Continental. “Being the stage winning partner of the Tour de France fits perfectly to our core value of ‘passion to win’. We are very much looking forward to contributing to the race with our wide range of high-performance tyres.”
As one of the five Main Partners for the event, which runs from 6 to 28 July, Continental will have great visibility throughout the tour. The Continental logo of the rearing horse will appear on the arch above the finish line for each stage, and a representative from Continental will present the trophy to the stage winner on the podium.
At 3 460 kilometres in length, the 106th edition of the Tour de France presents an especially gruelling challenge: three mountain finishes at altitudes of more than 2 000 metres, at the Col du Tourmalet Pass, Tignes, and Val Thorens. Such a programme is unmatched by anything in the history of the Grand Boucle, and will take riders to the limits of their mental and physical endurance.
The official presentation of the 176 riders representing the 22 teams participating in the 2019 Tour de France took place on Thursday 4 July in Brussels at the famous Grand-Place. This year there are six World Tour teams (Ineos, FDJ, Movistar, Bahrain-Merida, Katusha-Alpecin, and Sunweb) racing on the high-end Competition Pro LTD tyre from Continental, specially designed and hand-made in Korbach, Germany.
The tour consists of 21 stages – seven flat stages, five hilly stages, and seven mountain stages – with only two days of rest for the weary riders. The Grand Départ is from Brussels – only the second time since 1958 – and will honour not just Belgian Eddy Merckx but also a speciality of the country: sprinting. After visiting three Belgian regions (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia), the Tour will continue through 37 departments of France.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
Three of the stages will take place in sites visited for the first time in the history of the Tour. Binche for the start of stage 3, Saint-Die-des-Vosges for the start of stage 5, and Pont du Gard for the start of stage 17. In Foix, which is stage 15, the finish will take place at the 1 205 metre summit of Prat d’Albis.
The Col de l’Iseran hasn’t been climbed for twelve years. This period of inattention winds to a close, as it becomes the summit of the 2019 Tour. It represents a formidable altitude of 2 770 metres, and will be climbed for the eighth time since records began.
AWARD-WINNING PREMIUMCONTACT 6 TYRES USED BY OFFICIAL VEHICLES
Drivers of the official vehicles of the Tour will be travelling in complete confidence and safety thanks to the PremiumContact 6 tyres fitted to their wheels. These tyres will empower specialist personnel – ranging from doctors to time-keepers to race referees and commissioners – to focus purely on the task at hand, which is to deliver the best Tour possible for the uncompromising competitors and the jubilant audience.
And further on the topic of tyres, the Tour de France is indubitably a Franco-German triumph of cooperation; the PremiumContact 6 is manufactured with Gallic flair and Teutonic precision at the Continental factory in Sarreguemines, France.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) July 10, 2019