A former director of the Tour de France returns to the Lot

A former director of the Tour de France returns to the Lot
A former director of the Tour de France returns to the Lot

By

Jean-Claude Bonnemère

Published on

May 19, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.

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Less than two months before the passage of the large loop in the Lot, Jean-Louis Pagès was visiting Sousceyrac-en-Quercy. He is a man in the shadows.


Former site director and head of logistics for the Tour de France

For 35 years, Jean-Louis Pagès was the site director and head of logistics for the Tour de France. A role of capital importance, at the heart of the machinery of the Grande Boucle. The Tour is a life-size city, with 4,500 people and 2,400 vehicles, a technical finish area of ​​7 hectares, 130 trucks on the finish site, a start site of 3 hectares… a Barnum that moves every day according to the stages. A real technical challenge. The former director of the Tour de France sites, a position he held until 2016, came to reveal behind the scenes of the biggest cycling race in the world, on May 3.

Before going to Cantal, Jean-Louis Pagès came to greet one of his Sousceyracois friends, and took the opportunity to discover the Notre-Dame Portal, under which Raymond Poulidor in 2015, and more recently Daniel Mangeas had the opportunity to take a souvenir photo during their visit to Ségala.

Back in Sousceyrac, July 11, 2024

Jean-Louis Pagès passionately evokes his anecdotes and memories at each of his conferences or signings. Each year, well before the runners, he traveled more than 120,000 kilometers, spent 200 nights in a hotel, to meet prefects, mayors and technicians from the twenty cities selected from the 250 candidate municipalities. He remembers, for example, having pinned François Hollande against a barrier, or forbidding the actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz to move a millimeter during an arrival in Bordeaux… For more than thirty years, he reigned supreme over the finish lines of the Tour de France. Or, at the rate of around twenty stages per Great Loop, a mess of anecdotes in his bag. Now retired, the Gardois has chosen to tell “his” Tour also in a book which tells the story behind the scenes. “The Tour de France on the reverse side”, the one that he took pleasure in shaping, edition after edition, crisscrossing France. Jean-Louis Pagès meets the public under the Notre-Dame Portal next July 11 in Sousceyrac for the Tour de France with numerous activities.

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