As part of the Tour de France 2016 Grand Départ in Manche-in-Normandy, the Tour de France team presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday 30th June in the historic town of Sainte-Mère-Église, starting at 6pm.
Every year, the Tour de France opens with this traditional ceremony, a presentation to the public of the 22 participating teams, totalling 198 racers.
Sainte-Mère-Église, the city chosen to host the ceremony, is renowned for being one of the first cities freed by the Allied Forces during World War 2. It is also where U.S. paratrooper John Steele landed on the church steeple.
Open to all, the event will start at 6pm, offering over 5 hours of festivities around Place de l’Eglise – Church Square. Celebrations will centre on the theme of the Normandy landing of Allied Forces.
2.30 pm : Broadcast films of the Tour de France
You have a rendezvous at 2.30 pm at the Place de L’Eglise, to catch many films of the Tour de France on a big screen : 3 weekly highlights (26 min) of the Tour de France 2015, teasers of the Tour 2016, « La Course » by le Tour de France 2016, a video about safety instructions, and the official video of the Grand Départ du Tour de France 2016 Manche-Normandie.
5.30 pm : TuXedo’s show
From 5.30, TuXedo will propose a great concert. This group who comes from Normandy will revisited all the classics of funk music, pop, soul and rock.
Around 6 pm : Racers’ parade
Starting at 6pm, your are invited to come and stand rue du Général de Gaulle – also known as “Freedom Way”, and watch the Tour de France teams parading in vintage vehicles. 23 historical scenes on the Liberation and on Normandy will be featured in front of you. The racers will have artists and extras with them, all helping you to step into a time warp and ‘feel’ the post-war atmosphere. Racers will then leave the vehicles and ride their bikes to the stage.
6:15 pm > 7:50 pm : teams on stage
Next comes the team presentation place de l’Eglise, starting at 6:15pm. Marc Chauvet, the Tour de France sports commentator will be the Master of Ceremony. As such, he will introduce each rider and interview each team leader. A number of musical interludes by Normandy’s group TuXedo will lend rhythm to the ceremony. At the end of the presentation, all teams will ride to Kilometre ZERO for the official photograph.
8:15 pm: The Musical Show ‘Summer 44’
After the ceremony, starting at 8pm, enjoy an exclusive showing of the ‘Summer 44’ showcase version by the Theatre Company. The 24 songs of this musical show tell the story of the three months that “changed the course of history” – from the D-Day landings on the 6th June to the Liberation of Paris on the 25th August 1944.
9 pm : Open air dance with the DJ from “Le p’tit baluche de M. Larsene”
From 8:30pm to 11:30pm, dance and experience a typical French “guinguette” ball under the paper lanterns lighting up place de l’Eglise with entertainment by “Le p’tit baluche de M. Larsene”. In a warm and authentic atmosphere, the DJ will tower from above and offer a first choice selection of musical pieces from the 1930s to the 1970s: cha-cha, mambo, paso doble, waltz, java, tango, madison, swing, sirtaki, polka, traditional Jewish, Romanian, Occitan, calypso, twist, rock, disco, boogaloo, soul.
11:30 pm: Fireworks at place de l’Eglise
The celebration is free and open to all.
Free car parks available near the event.
Food and beverages available from noon onward (BBQ, refreshment stalls, etc.).
Plan to come early (early or mid- afternoon).