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Video: Jean-Etienne Amaury, the "true" boss of the Tour de France

Jean-Etienne Amaury talking to Asian cycling expert Alan Rushton

Jean-Etienne Amaury talking to Asian cycling expert Alan Rushton (Image credit: Pierre Carrey)

The "true" patron of the Tour de France spoke to Cyclingnews in a rare and exclusive video interview at the Tour of Beijing. His name: Jean-Etienne Amaury.

Since Patrice Clerc's departure at the end of 2008, Jean-Etienne Amaury has been the President of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), above Yann Le Moënner, ASO's director, and Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France's director.

The young CEO is the heir of the Tour de France's owners since the end of World War II. His grandfather Emilien managed the race as well as the newspapers L'Equipe and Le Parisien until 1977. His father, Philippe, played the same role until his death in 2006. His mother Marie Odile is since then the manager of the sports event and media holdings.

From the Tour de France's perspective, Madame Amaury is at the very top of the hierarchy and her son is just below.

As he used to watch the Tour in the 1980s and "met the champions", Jean-Etienne Amaury reveals his favourite rider was Bernard Hinault. "He was the best at that time", he said.

Today, ASO's President says his "main preoccupation is to make the most attractive race for the public in France and over the world".