Enter our contest and get a shot at being one of the winners of the ŠKODA VIP Tour de France Hospitality Programme! What’s on the winning menu then? A three-day all-inclusive trip to France to witness the 2020 Tour from a few unique points of view – from a ŠKODA SUPERB iV weaving through the peloton and driven by a former cycling pro, during a roadside barbecue, from the terrace of your luxury hotel and… from a private helicopter! Let’s take a look in detail at all the amazing things that await you if you win the first round of our contest.
Every year, a contest takes place on We Love Cycling and consists of three rounds of Tour-focused questions. Get them right on time, count on your lucky cards when the draw comes and you could be the one heading for a Tour de France adventure with all expenses covered. You will be treated to a high-end accommodation and superb French cuisine in close proximity to the Tour’s course, driven around by a fleet of ŠKODA SUPERBs (which happen to be the brand new plug-in iV hybrids this year) with your name decaled on the back of the car, and you will enjoy the company of some of the renowned names and legends of road cycling. And, as we already mentioned, the real cherry on top will be the exciting helicopter flyover.
Although the Hospitality Programme crew will do their best to smother you in comfort the minute you arrive, it’s not just about being a passive (albeit enthusiastic) VIP spectator to the world’s greatest bicycle road race from the comfortable back seat of your car. For the actively inclined, the Hospitality Programme offers a morning training ride on day two with all pro-grade equipment provided. Aptly named Early Bird, the ride sets off even before the all-inclusive breakfast to give you a true taste of the pro cycling routine. The bikes, the jerseys, the bibs, the helmets – all bearing the ŠKODA logo and guaranteeing top-class quality. And the best part? Your riding coach and companion could be a road cycling legend, such as Tour de France winner Andy Schleck.
As Stephen Roche, one of only two people on the planet to boast the Triple Crown of Cycling, put it when he was driving the ŠKODA Hospitality Programme car in 2014: “Almost every driver is a former cycling pro — it’s all about understanding the flow of the peloton. For example, if there is a crosswind I know how the riders will line up. It’s exhausting, but you can’t lose concentration.” This allows you to get as close to the racing atmosphere as possible and have an experience afforded only to a chosen few.
And now for a thrilling change of environment. Before the starting gun and the race director’s white flag launch the day’s stage, the winners are taken ahead to watch the peloton ride by with a glass of champagne in hand. And then comes the highlight of the day – a helicopter flight over the racing peloton! The sight of the Tour helicopters landing on the lawn usually renders even the more outgoing winners speechless. As they board and set off to continue watching the Tour from the bird’s eye view, it’s truly hard for many of them to not remain gobsmacked for the remainder of the flight. Considering the scenic and breathtaking nature of French landscape and mountain ranges, the Tour helicopter trip is a multi-layered treat.
After the flight and when they get their bearings, the winners are treated to a roadside barbecue and then chauffeured away in their ŠKODA SUPERB iVs to the Club Tour de France rest station situated next to the 100-metre mark just in time to see the winner cross the finishing line. By that time, the excitement and amazement of the winners are almost tangible in the air as they cheer for the riders alongside likewise enthused crowds, which gather roadside by the millions each year.
The last day of the Hospitality Programme offers the perfect finishing touch – a farewell dinner where the guests enjoy the famed local French cuisine as they reflect on the past three incredible days. They are then taken to their respective airports, train or bus stations as the Hospitality Programme covers even the travelling costs from any country the winners happen to be from.
We hope we will see you among the ŠKODA VIP Hospitality Programme contestants this year. We must give you a fair warning, though. The only risk is you might smother your significant other, family members or friends with an endless recounting of your adventures upon returning home, but rest assured – it’s well worth taking.