Last week, a small team led by JÃ¼rg Capol, FIS Race Director Cross-Country visited the 2006 Tour de France in the town of Morzine (FRA) that served as the finishing area for the 17th Tour Stage. The goal of the trip was to gain valuable insight into the logistics, marketing implementation, television & internet production and accreditation services that are part of the organization of any world-class sports event consisting of multiple stages. The lessons learned should especially benefit the FIS Tour de Ski, scheduled to start on 29th December 2006.
â€œThe logistical accomplishments of the local organizing committees at the Tour de France are truly remarkable. The mobile infrastructure is set up and dismantled very rapidly, even in very tight quarters such as here in Morzine. The entire Tour de France organization is aligned to constantly develop and optimize its operations. I am convinced that the organizers of the FIS World Cup Cross-Country could all learn a lot by reaching out to other sports and events in the future,â€ commented JÃ¼rg Capol.
Tiit Pekk (EST), Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for Cross-Country World Cup and Continental Cups, added: â€œThis was my first time at â€˜Le Tour.’ I've wanted to see this event for years and although I came with high expectations, I was still amazed.â€ He continued: â€œFirst of all, the atmosphere on the course was fantastic: the crowds were ecstatic hours before the athletes came, sharing the news about their favorites and getting ready to cheer them all up the â€˜Col’. I know it will take years but a goal for the FIS Tour de Ski should be to develop similar excitement among the fans. Secondly, the professionalism of the venue buildup was extraordinary. In the early morning hours, the various installations were built without panic, dozens of trucks parked on the streets of a tiny mountain village, and tens of kilometers of cables spread out exactly where they were needed. The staff worked in teams, each knowing precisely the role of their particular team. As an event organizer, I could really appreciate this and hope this will be the direction for the FIS Tour de Ski to follow, too.â€