PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Tour de Pez: Le Caravan!

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Tour de Pez: Le Caravan!
Roadside St.14: It’s hard to explain to folks who have never seen the Tour caravan just how crazy it is. Credit crunch, recession, whatever, the sponsors still spend those big bucks to get their products on the roads of France for a big chunk of July. Unlike TV, newspaper or movie advertising; this is interactive.

The pretty girls on the vans will wave back and maybe even throw you a hat, a bag, a pack of sweets, or biscuits; and the Vittel wagon will even skoosh you with some of the sponsor’s product – great on a hot day, provided your camera is out of the way.

PEZ took time on Saturday’s stage from Colmar to Besancon to have a look at the weird and wonderful collection of contraptions that is the Tour caravan.

Skoda: have their new four wheel drive on display – and hey! what’s that on the roof? Oh my God! It’s the vehicle’s namesake – a Yeti!

Haribo: the company that keeps dentists all over Europe busy, has a big presence; bears and fruit sprout from the roof of the cars.

Antargas: have a smart sports car with a huge gas bottle on the roof.

Bbox: have two floats with cyclist figures astride them in team kit, promoting their internet services. One has a striking resemblance to ‘Tommy’ Voeckler – scary!

Rotterdam: next year’s start city has a presence on the caravan, too.

Belin: have Harley trikes promoting their wares and dispense nice little bags of their crackers, if you can catch the pretty girl’s eye.

PMU: the betting chain, have striking life size, jumping horses to promote their services.

Etap Hotels: have a rather tempting looking bed on wheels – hey! Boss, can we get one of those?

Roadsign: sportswear have kangaroos on the roof and a non stop dijeredoo sound track; at the end of the Tour, the drivers have to get therapy.

Cofidis: are here ‘credite par telephon.”

Carrefour: the supermarket chain who sponsor the king of the mountains prize, have a fleet of polka dot convertibles and trucks.

Panach: soft drinks have all manner of huge bottles and six packs, in orange and green – and yes, all this lot goes over the Pyrenees and Alps.

Xtra: washing liquid dish out slippery free samples.

Gendarmerie: yeah, even the ‘po-lees’ know a good way of recruiting, when they see it.

Vittel: is the jewel in the crown of the caravan; they run a crazy race within a race; “coureurs” on motor bike side cars pedal the course, complete with DS and fans – mad! And if that ain’t enough they blast you with water jets too!

Kleber: tyres have Smart Cars disguised as huge tyres.

Cochonou: salami have all manner of Citroen 2CV’s painted in red gingham to look like restaurant table cloths.

Francaise des Jeux: the French lottery have shamrocks aplenty.

L’Aujordhui: newspaper has massive figures reading the news.

Caisse D’Epargne: the bank have crash hatted giraffes on the float; and of course, their squirrel mascot – but does he get to bury nuts in Italy?

Festina: watches have massive time pieces atop trucks made to look like giant crash hats – but weren’t Festina…

Credit Lyonnais: The big French bank and long time sponsor of the maillot jaune – the Tour wouldn’t be the same without those cuddly stuffed lions on the podium.

And there’s the break down wagon – those ASO boys think of everything!

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