The 2023 Tour de France offers a global showcase in Poligny, the county capital

In his electoral project for 2020, between the development of cycle paths or new investments in the energy transition, Dominique Bonnet, mayor of Poligny in the Jura since 2008, slipped a less conventional wish: for his third term, the city councilor wanted the Tour de France to pass through his city. “I was only hoping for a crossing”confides the elect, fan, like millions of French, of the Grande Boucle, “popular and free show”.

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So when the organiser, Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), warned him in the autumn of 2022 that Poligny had been chosen to host the finish of the 19And stage, Friday 21 July, “You can imagine my reaction! », he says with a broad smile. Mr. Bonnet could never have thought that his village, which has only 4,000 inhabitants, could boast of such an event. Poligny will be the smallest lowland town to host a Tour finish since 1947.

It’s an eight-kilometre straight – the longest of the 2023 edition, which promises a sprint finish – and the presence of ample parking in the commercial area of ​​the town that convince ASO to choose Poligny. Although larger, the Jura cities officially nominated for arrival this year did not offer this type of infrastructure. More than the reputation of a city, ASO seeks above all an accessible area large enough to be able to park the 120 semi-trailers of the Tour.

14,000 direct and indirect jobs

It is therefore at the end of this long ribbon of bitumen that the victory will be decided, but also the reputation of the country and its flagship product, the county, of which it is the capital. In Poligny everything revolves around the “king of cheeses”. On the Place des Déportés, in the heart of the city, there are countless creameries and shops dedicated to France’s first protected designation.

The city is also home to the Interbranch County Management Committee, the National School of Dairy Industry, and the Dairy Technology and Analysis Research Unit of the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRAE). The Tour will be a global showcase for the entire sector, which generates over €600 million in annual turnover for 14,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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“All day long, on television and radio, we will hear Poligny, Poligny, Poligny all over the world”, insists Stéphane Boury, general commissioner of the Tour and in charge of the stage finish sites, during a preparatory meeting organized on March 6 in the village. Beside him, the mayor is in heaven as his technical teams sink into their seats listening to the specifications imposed by the Tour.

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