The pomp and circumstance for the 108th edition of the Tour de France commenced Thursday just two days before the Grand Départ in Brest with the formal ceremony introducing the 23 teams and 184 riders. Unlike the subdued atmosphere amid empty chairs for the 2020 fall edition of the team presentation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, spectators were welcomed back to see their favourite riders and hear interviews from the stage.
The Ineos Grenadiers presented its stacked roster, including Richie Port, Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart. The Deceuninck-QuickStep squad have World Champion Julian Alaphilippe and Mark Cavendish, while Jumbo-Visma have contenders Primož Roglič, Steven Kruijswijk and Wout van Aert. Defending champion Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates was the final rider introduced, speaking English from the stage, he told the audience he was eager to race.
In between musical acts and on-stage performances, teams paraded across the stage to debut new apparel and sponsors. Peter Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates wore their new look for the Tour, a checkerboard pattern of black and green, said to be inspired by chess.
Alpecin-Fenix walked on the stage in purple and amber throw-back colours to honour French cycling legend Raymond Poulidor, who was Mathieu van der Poel’s grandfather. The Poulidor-inspired kits will not be worn in the race, but offered for sale online for fans as a way to salute the eight-time podium finisher in the Tour. Poulidor died in 2019, so will not see his grandson race in the Tour for the first time.
Team Qhubeka Assos also appeared in new Assos kits at Thursday’s festivities to unveil its look as Qhubeka NextHash at the Tour, the start of a new five-year deal with team co-sponsor NextHash. The team will also begin a partnership with fashion brand Burberry.
Another new look includes a new name for the three-week race, as Total Direct Energie will rebrand as Team TotalEnergies. The French ProTeam sported their new white, red and blue kits on the stage.
Click or swipe through the gallery above to see the teams presentation of the 108th Tour de France.
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