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Christian Prudhomme, Director of le Tour de France and AIOCC President
The AIOCC President presents our structure, its assets and the challenges of the next few years.
Christian Prudhomme, what does the International Association of Cycling Race Organisers (AIOCC) represent today?
As well as its history since 1956 and the role that it has played in the past, AIOCC is more than ever the organisers’ representative with official bodies especially the Union Cycliste Internationale. Our role is important in modern cycling. We are stakeholders in the drafting of calendars and rules. We are in particular very vigilant about all safety measures at our races. Cycling is a special environment since our venue is the road. Furthermore, we are a link and provide assistance for some organisers on all matters related to TV production and broadcasting since organisers own the rights to their races.
What is AIOCC’s role vis-à-vis official bodies?
It defends their interests, above all as regards the calendar. It can’t always be understood why a change of date, sometimes by only a few days, can change the impact of a race in terms of the public, sponsors and TV. It is the key to the success and sometimes survival of a race.
What is the specific task of a cycling race organiser compared to other sports?
The venue, because for us it’s the road which is in the public domain, with its laws, political constraints and safety measures. Unlike many organisers of sports races, we will never be owners of our sporting venues and we will never decide on the contractual requirements. That is what adds to the charm of Road cycling which combines, geography, history, culture and the countries’ rules that it travels through and where everybody can be like the champions on the same routes……… Everyone has the opportunity of climbing the Galibier, Mortirolo, Koppenberg or ride in the Arenberg trench.
What are AIOCC’s challenges in 2018?
Cycling’s base is in Europe but it is heading towards a bigger worldwide audience. This is an important point for its development whether on the African continent, in America, Asia or Oceania. This involves the organisation of impeccable races and we need to support organisers in their endeavours. The other challenge is women’s cycling, which is undergoing radical restructuring, with even more professional and competitive teams, high level races and even more events combined with the biggest men’s races.
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