Laurent Devin is delighted to once again host a stage of the Tour de France.
The open secret was officially confirmed Wednesday morning in Paris where the 2022 Tour de France track was presented: Bench will host the start of the sixth stage of this 109th edition.
The second chapter of the Cité du Gille. Everyone remembers, on July 8, 2019, that Binche really kicked off during a special, marked 50 years since Eddy Merckx’s first win. The success of the event exceeded all expectations. ASO expected 40,000 spectators if the weather was good, half of them if it was raining. On that day, the sky was shining in the sun of Binchois and they were nearly 70,000 to watch the start of the runners.
Historic day for Mayor Laurent Devine, who told us at the time: “We may not see it again in this century.” In the end, we didn’t have to wait ages. Three years after this start, the Tour de France returns. “It feels extraordinary,” says Laurent Devin of Paris. “It is also a huge appreciation to Christian Prudhomme, Tour Director, for the quality of organizing the bike races in Binche. We put out a very nice newsletter in 2019 and told us he felt a strong passion for cycling in Binche. We see him with the bike tour clubs he is a dedication to. Two, we have seven today. With more and more feminine demands. We just staged the first women’s edition of Binche-Chimay-Binche.”
So the Cité du Gille is again on the map of the Tour de France. The small town in the center, with a population of less than 34,000, will host the start of a phase, as have London, Copenhagen or Brussels. Benchoa’s secret? “We do it with heart. It allows you to raise mountains and participate with ASO in organizing the third largest sporting event in the world.”
70,000 people attended the start of the stage in 2019 in Benchy. Quite a few people discovered Bench that day. What did the mayor learn from this first experience and what does he expect from the next departure? “In the coming days, we will have a very important meeting with stakeholders from business, education, sports, culture and local associations. Together, with the city of Binche and the Central Region, we all want to prepare for this feast day. The first departure of Binche allowed him to be recorded on the world map. It was very important In terms of fame it has made it possible to create interesting connections to the economic world, but also to our cycling politics. It also left us with a priceless feeling, that anything is possible at Binche. When we organize the beginning of a stage, we have to see what is bigger, to see More, and to work with all city teams in harmony with our motto: More Ulter”, concludes Laurent Devine.
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