Issy-les-Moulineaux, the 26th of March 2004

�Press release from the organisers of the Tour de France�

Following the disclosures made by the Spanish rider Jesus Manzano, the organisers of the Tour de France esteem that the element of doubt hanging over the matter no longer permits the formerly contemplated presence of the Kelme � Costa Blanca team at the start of the next Tour de France.

You will recall that when the selection of the teams was announced, on the 27 th of February 2004, the possibility of a 22 nd place was referred to and it seemed likely to be awarded to this team evolving in the 2 nd division. Consequently, the 22 nd place will not be attributed and 21 teams of 9 riders will be at the start of the Tour de France in Liège on the 3 rd of July next.

Furthermore, the directors of Amaury Sport Organisation have decided, in the present state of their knowledge of the facts, not to invite the Kelme � Costa Blanca team to participate in the other competitions that they organise.

Download the press release (fichier word, format .doc, 1 page, 62ko)

Issy-les-Moulineaux, the 2nd of March 2004

Škoda en route for the Tour…

The Official Car on the next Tour de France will be a Škoda.

A partnership agreement between ŠkodaAuto and Amaury Sport Organisation was signed on the 2nd of March 2004 at the opening of the Geneva International Car Show.

Škoda hence becomes Official Partner and member of the Tour de France Club, alongside Crédit Lyonnais, Supermarché CHAMPION and Nestlé Aquarel.

This partnership includes 11 other A.S.O. cycling competitions and extends over a four year period.

ŠkodaAuto is also very proud to become the sponsor of the white jersey which rewards the best young rider on the Tour de France.

Within the framework of its development in France and in Europe, ŠkodaAuto wished to associate itself with a sporting event at the very forefront of the international scene. The immense enthusiasm generated by the Tour de France among the general public (15 million spectators, 2 billion television viewers via broadcasts in 170 countries), which places it in 3rd position after the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup, corresponds perfectly to the brand name's expectations.

This partnership is all the more comprehensive given the numerous similarities between the two companies, the family orientated nature of Škoda being in perfect harmony with the general public character of the Tour de France.

Incidentally, Škoda, when it was founded in 1895, manufactured bicycles, well before it manufactured cars.

A return to its roots as it were…

Issy-les-Moulineaux, the 27th of February 2004

Invitations for the Tour de France 2004

Amaury Sport Organisation, organiser of the Tour de France, the 91st edition of which will leave from Liège on the 3 July to finish in Paris on the 25 July, designated on Friday the teams that will complete the list of 14 groups that have already qualified on the basis of the International Cycling Union's regulations. These were the first 14 teams in the ICU rankings as of 31 January 2004. The teams are:

Fassa Bortolo (Italy)
Quick Step � Davitamon (Belgium)
T-mobile Team (Germany)
Saeco (Italy)
Illes Balears � Banesto (Spain)
Gerolsteiner (Germany)
Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone (France)
  Rabobank (Netherlands)
Liberty-Seguros (Spain)
US Postal Service - Berry Floor (United States)
Team CSC (Denmark)
Alessio � Bianchi (Italy)
Euskaltel � Euskadi (Spain) (France)

At this stage, the following teams have been retained:

AG2R Prévoyance (France)
Brioches la Boulangère (France)
Crédit Agricole (France)
Domina Vacanze (Italy)
Lotto � Domo (Belgium)
Phonak Hearing Systems (Switzerland)
RAGT Semences � MG Rover (France)

The split by nationality is as follows:

France: 6
Italy: 4
Spain: 3
Belgium: 2
Germany: 2
  Switzerland: 1
Denmark: 1
Netherlands: 1
United States: 1

Download press release (.doc, 1 page, 145 Ko)

Issy-les-Moulineaux, the 24th of November 2003

« Christian Prudhomme joins A.S.O. »

Last September, Daniel Baal informed the directors of Amaury Sport Organisation of his decision to leave the post of Director of Cycling occupied by him since October 2001.

Patrice Clerc, President of A.S.O., asked him to postpone making this decision public, in the interests of the smooth running of the company, until the team of Jean-Marie Leblanc, Deputy Managing Director, could be reinforced.

It is towards Christian Prudhomme that A.S.O. turned and he has accepted their proposal: he will join A.S.O. on the 1st of January 2004.
Indeed, his competence in the field of cycling and the passion inspired in him by this sport convinced the directors of A.S.O. that Christian Prudhomme would be a precious contribution to the cycling competitions that they organise each year.

The Directors of A.S.O. once again thank Daniel Baal for having agreed to postpone his departure until the 31st of January next, and are extremely grateful for the efficient work accomplished by him, in conjunction with Jean-Marie Leblanc, over the last two years.

Download press release (.doc, 1 page, 60 Ko)