They deplore its environmental impact and its cost for communities: the ecological mayors of cities likely to host the Tour de France are demanding more "sobriety" from the organizers of the event, of which they criticize certain practices, considered to be of another age .
The latest to pin the Big Loop, the mayor of Lyon Grégory Doucet did not mince his words when he described the Tour on Wednesday as "macho and polluting".
The newly elected councilor warned that his city, which spent 600,000 euros to welcome the arrival of the 14th stage on Saturday, did not intend to apply again until the event had "shown that it can evolve ".
Grégory Doucet argued that it was "no longer acceptable" to invite sporting events "whose first priority is not to ask the question of their footprint" on the environment.
Thursday, in front of the outcry provoked by these declarations, the president EELV of the metropolis of Lyon Bruno Bernard praised this "magnificent" and "popular" test which is part "of our heritage".
But he called her to "more eco-responsibility".
Paradox for some of their detractors: like their counterparts elsewhere in France, the two elected green Lyonnais have made the development of cycling in their city a priority.
- The caravan in the viewfinder -
In Bordeaux, where the ecologist Pierre Hurmic put an end in June to seven decades of reign of the right, the city assures that it "will remain a candidate" for a start or a finish of stage in the years to come.
But the new municipality hopes "a strong signal in favor of the environment" on the part of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the Tour, considering that "environmental and financial sobriety must now prevail, especially in this period of health crisis ".
She specifies that the number of cars that make up the caravan and the pollution caused by its advertising gadgets will be particularly scrutinized for a future candidacy.
If Landerneau, near Brest, could be a stage of the Tour next year, local environmentalists - in the municipal opposition - are raised against this prospect.
Their spokesperson Christophe Winckler regrets that the inhabitants have "to pay for an event which falls within old patterns flouting the rules in terms of energy savings".
"The environmental and energy impact is phenomenal. We sometimes have three or four helicopters following the main stages, which is quite unbearable," he insists, hoping that the 110,000 euros that Landerneau will have to pay to accommodate runners will be used for other purposes.
The regional capital Rennes, where the Greens belong to the majority of the mayor Nathalie Appéré (PS), had launched the debate by declining to host the Tour in 2021. More for budgetary reasons than ecological, we had then explained.
- Progress approach -
For his part, the director of the Tour de France Christian Prud'homme explains that the Tour will not go "where it is not desired", although it has "vocation to go everywhere to meet its public".
"The elected environmentalists undoubtedly believe that we are not going far enough, not fast enough. But we are part of a process of progress and over the editions we are developing a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that takes account of the importance of the event, its roaming and its success, ”he adds.
This year, and for the first time in its history, “all” of the organization's vehicles in the race “are hybrids” and “three times”, three race management cars “will be 100% electric”.
"The Tour has started to evolve. But there are still areas for improvement such as the image of women, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and waste management. On this last aspect, its passage can be traumatic for the mountain ", analyzes the ecological mayor of Grenoble Éric Piolle.
"The Tour cannot take into account only what it emits, but it must integrate a global vision", underlines the elected, recalling however that "the bicycle is a sport much more sober than others in many respects ".
bp-fjt-ale-sf-jm / fga / or
© 2020 AFP