(October 28, 2017, Shanghai) On site at the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower, 2017 Le Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Critérium launched officially. Zhu Di, Vice District Mayor of Pudong New Area; Zhu Huihua, Director of Pudong New Area Sports Bureau; Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of A.S.O.; Steve Lau, Managing Director of Activation Group; Kathy Zhou, General Manager of Activation Sports and number of guests attended the launch event. Four-time champion of Le Tour de France Christopher Froome, two time champion Alberto Contador, 2017 Le Tour de France Polka Jersey winner Warren Barguil, and other participating cyclists also appeared on the scene meeting with guests and media.
The event was held with close attention and great amount of support from the Shanghai Sports Bureau and Pudong New Area People's Government. Zhu Di, Vice District Mayor of Pudong New Area says: "The Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Government placed a great deal of importance on the Le Tour de France Shanghai Critérium. As an event with century-old heritage, its influence on public health and green lifestyles have made a positive impact. We will continue to work with the community to take a variety of measures to strive to build higher standards in Shanghai sporting events, while strengthening infrastructure, and promoting the development of related industries.”
A.S.O., the global organizer of the Tour de France held high hopes for the event. Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of A.S.O., stated: "We hope that through Tour de France official events in China, the spirits of athletics, innovation and entertainment will come together to create a collusion of French and other national cultures. Shanghai this vibrant, profoundly culturally rich international city, is China's door to globalization and modernization. The 2017 Le Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Critérium can be described as arriving just at the right moment.
Kathy Zhou, General Manager of Activation Sports, portrayed the 2017 Le Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Critérium as a platform to introduce the Tour de France brand into China, and she hoped that the top cyclists from around the world, can participate in the activities and can experience the top level professional event with a full range of cycling culture experiences, enjoy cycling as a competitive sport and as well as a lifestyle brought about by passion and fun.
It is worth mentioning that, as the Tour de France official events in China, this event uses unique elements to attract guests, media and Chinese fans. A.S.O. brings the Tour de France trophy to the event site, and the trophy was presented to the 2017 Tour de France champion Chris Froome on the site, by Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of A.S.O. to celebrate Chris’ exceptional season, and to show the world that the 2017 Le Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Critérium is the 22nd stage of the Tour de France, happening in China.
With local cultural experiences, and the history of the Tour de France creating a collision that will not achieve cultural exchanges, but also it is also one of the main traditions of the Tour de France. In Shanghai, cyclists wear the traditional Chinese clothing to do Tai Chi, Pick up the brush for the lion dancing, to experience the race via a carefully prepared Chinese cultural feast. "Tai Chi and lion dancing are quite unique, I am looking forward to the next game, and the exchange between Chinese cyclists and enthusiasts", the wisdom of the Chinese people, the opportunity to experience traditional Culture, this is truly rare opportunity”. Froome said excitedly.
"We have the century-old Tour de France to introduce to China" said Steve Lau, Managing Director of Activation Group. "We will be very excited by exchange of different cultures and traditions. In the future, we will continue to bring the Tour de France official events to all parts of the country, combined with different regional cultures, and bringing professional cycling to the general public.