In the face of a heat wave, the solution used in the Tour de France is creating chaos
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In the face of a heat wave, the solution used in the Tour de France is creating chaos

Climate – The intense heat wave in France has prompted Tour de France organizers to take several measures to ensure the safety of cyclists. Among them, the decision to cool the roads by Reha shocked many elected environmentalists and some netizens.

“It’s going to get hotter and hotter in the next two or three days,” explained this Saturday, July 16, to RMC, Andre Pankala, “Mr. Road” of the tour. “In some places the asphalt will start to melt, can you imagine how this could end?” He noted that 2,000 liters of water was used on Friday, July 15, during the 13th stage of Grand Buckley, to cool the bitumen. Then the sweeper took over the task of draining the road to prevent slipping.

In response to a question by AFP, he explained that the Tour de France has vehicles carrying 10,000 liters of water, which can be used especially during the Pyrenees stages, as the road is less maintained than in the Alps. Tuesday, the day when the peak heat should reach its peak, organizers can also count on the help of firefighters who “must reach out for fog water in certain places to cool the peloton.” “It is an idea that is being circulated to reduce the effect of heat,” according to Andre Pankala.

“Welcome to tinker”

However, these initiatives to limit the effects of the heat wave have sparked controversy in the context of severe drought. “Welcome to absurdity,” David Billiard, EELV’s deputy mayor of Paris, particularly denounced. “In the middle of a heat wave, thousands of liters of water (which is wasted in real life) will be used to irrigate the road and cool the runners’ passage.” And to be surprised: “Is this the “clean bosom” that he promised us?!!

“We’re walking on our heads,” said Marseille First Deputy Mayor Michel Roberola (EELV). “In times of drought, water is wasted so that a competition can be held while a heat wave puts runners at risk,” she deplored.

The initiative of the tour organizers of Remy Zinc, Mayor (EELV) of the 4th arrondissement of Lyon, was not passed at a time of “a very important drought” and while “water management is a priority for our agriculture, and therefore our food”. For former MP Matthew Orvillen, “irrigating roads during a heat wave” is a “good example of poor adaptation” to climate change.

Some netizens also coolly welcomed the road-watering announcement, while others opted for humor and irony to denounce behavior they consider to be contrary to environmental imperatives.

Tuesday 13 July, 38 km from the end of stage 10, nine environmental activists from the “Dernière Rénovation” movement stopped the Tour de France riders for about a quarter of an hour by sitting on the road and firing smoke grenades. “The reality is that the world politicians send us into is a world in which the Tour de France can no longer exist,” one activist justified, in the movement’s press release.

See also on The HuffPost: Tour de France: What the world looked like during a Frenchman’s latest victory


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