Tour de France 2015

From: Raymond Kerckhoffs (De Telegraaf, the Netherlands) and other boardmembers AIJC
Conclusion: Workingconditions are improved.

Information available on the website: Le Tour website is a very modern. The Data about riders during the race didn’t work well.

Accreditation: The accreditation system works without any problem. Information about the accreditation request status is available within a short timeframe.

Signposting to the start, pressroom, finish: Very good indicated. To go to the start, the Hors Course and pressroom. Maybe it would be an idea to give the address of the pressroom in the roadbook. If the pressroom is away from the finish it would be easier to find it with navigation.
At places where the pressroom is more that 500 meter away from the finish and you got to walk to the finish it would be good to sign the fastest route from the pressroom to the finish. Now we got some days to search the shortest way like in Cambrai.

Working conditions at the start: At the busses we could work good. It seems that there are less people in the paddock than earlier years. But with our presspasses we were not allowed to go to the startpodium. If you wanna create here a mixed zone than also the written press has to have access here.

Working conditions at the finish: It was ok. At the stage to Neeltje Jans we were not allowed to pass back by the finishroad but after complaining about this it changed directly. Behind the finish there could be more tv-screens for the media to follow the race. It’s now so crowded that’s almost impossible to follow the race.

Pressroom: Most of the times the pressrooms were ok. Better chairs than years before and enough places. At some days it was realy hot in the pressroom. Especially Cauterets, Rodez, Valence. Point to look at are the toilets. Some days they were really terrible and absolutely not from this time. When the pressroom is in a tent, the toilets were unworthy of an event of this caliber.

Distance Pressroom – Finish: Most of the times ok. Good solutions were Mur de Bretagne, Cauterets and PraLoup. Teambusses had to park near or at the pressroom when the finish was difficult to reach for the media. For next years we got to emphasize teams at these days to park here.

Shuttles are always a problem. It didn’t work well at Le Havre, Rodez and Cauterets were problems. Rodez was a mess. The small bus went every 15-30 minutes. It was faster to walk down and walk back. Some journo’s boarded it for the ride back, but it was steamy hot inside and the driver insisted on waiting for the fans/marching band to clear the street.

Our suggestion for the big races is that the race organiser has cars and their people to run the shuttles, not the locals. Then they know what the press needs and how to operate. When it is in the hands of the local organiser, there is always room for (and most of the times it is) error.

Distance finish – teambusses: OK.

Internet: The official Orange internet is expensive with 600 euro but it works good. Some people complained about the quality of the normal Orange internet.

Information about the race in the Pressroom: There were enough televisions and livetickers. You could follow the pressconferences perfect in the pressroom.

Results: OK

Food or drinks at or near the Pressroom: Almost every day good buffets. With a shame I got to say that the Dutch places Utrecht and Neeltje Jans had the most bad or none buffet.

Press conference: Better than the last years. The written media had now more time and could ask more questions to the stage-winner and the yellow jersey. Translations were OK. Point of worry is that some media, like CyclingTips, put the tape (soundclouds) of the final pressconference of Chris Froome on their website.

Rob Arnold sent me an email about this and I’m absolutely agree with him: ,,My understanding is that a press conference is for the press; those media outlets that invest in covering the Tour, who attend the race, who speak to the riders, who ask the questions, who write the coverage, who do the work… but the way that it was this year means that everyone in the world has access to the questions that I have asked and this seems not in keeping of the spirit of the press room.”

Amount of professional and non-professional journalists: OK. Good collaboration with ASO about people that they don’t know by letting them check by delegates from AIJC

Other points:

A novelty that some journo’s greatly appreciated: the ability to hear Radio-Tour in the press room (headphones proposed by Fabrice Tiano).

A highlight also the most complicated evacuations (La Pierre-Saint-Martin and the Alpe d’Huez) were successful, at least to our knowledge. This means that when ASO made a big effort on the issue with the local authorities (especially police), the expected result is achieved.

We can hope that in future evacuations are no longer the problem is as we sometimes known (eg, Pra-Loup from what I was told by colleagues).