By Paul Norman published
It’s been 40 years since Mavic first made its agreement with the Tour de France to provide Neutral Support for the race. In 1972, Mavic’s owner Bruno Gormand came up with the idea of providing mechanical support and spare wheels and bikes for any rider in a race who got into difficulties.
Mavic first provided Neutral Support to the 1973 Paris-Nice before rolling it out to a whole slew of races including the Tour de France as well as top amateur events like the Haute Route series. Now it has agreed with Amaury Sports Organisation, the owner of the Tour de France, to continue to provide Neutral Support to the race for another five years until 2022.
According to Tour De France director Christian Prudhomme: “The neutral support from Mavic represents the true “Saint Bernard” of the race. They have deep knowledge of cycling, and racing, which is essential for this service to be useful for all the riders and teams.
“Mavic technical assistance is constantly looking for solutions and innovations to improve this crucial and indispensable service for racing and, of course, the yellow cars and motorcycles match perfectly with the Tour de France.”
Mavic has learned from its experience on Le Tour too. Last year’s problems for Chris Froome with his Neutral Service bike has led it to introduce dropper seatposts and multiple pedal systems on its bikes for this year’s Tour de France.
And Mavic says that the relationship has been integral to shaping the brand into the global cycling component group that it is today. It boasts that it has le sang jaune – yellow blood in its veins, as well as using yellow as its trademark colour scheme for its cycling products.
Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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