By Shane Stokes in Brest
On the eve of the 2008 Tour de France, PMU and ASO have confirmed that the betting company has renewed its partnership for an additional four years. It started its association in 1991 and will now be the official backer of the green jersey competition until at least 2012.
PMU's big green cardboard hands have been a mainstay in the crowds at bunch sprints and a popular souvenir (although a bit hard to pack in the luggage). The PMU hand was banned from the final two kilometres after Norwegian Thor Hushovd sustained a deep gash on his arm after brushing up against one in the 2006 Tour de France.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme pronounced himself very satisfied with the renewal of PMU as a sponsor. "I am very happy with this continuation," he said. "It confirm the loyalty of partners of the Tour de France, and particularly of PMU for a ranking which has crowned the greatest champions of the last fifty years."