The Thank You Mission… #5

I shall keep today brief as i’m short on time this evening and I’ve got more than one thing to write up. I was out watching the racing at Victoria Park in Bath this evening so havn’t done much ‘research’ for today’s post….Sorry if it comes across a little shoddy.

The Thank You Mission has caused me to delve into corners of the internet that I never knew existed! I must have visited the Tour de France website hundreds of times, yet I never once visited the Sponsors page. Now though all that has changed,  I pour over the list of companies in a desperate quest for inspiration and information.  The company that jumped out at me today was Vittel, so I went and bought some. Seeing the The French mineral water company in the list of sponsors dredged up a distant memory of this French TV ad… Surprisingly not an easy video to find.

The premise of the add is simple, man in fetching Franch national colours races a horse around a grass track…horse is winning, man drinks Vittel, man wins. Thus Vittel = some sort of innocent performance enhancing drug. Whether or not that is a deliberate allusion to a quote from the great Fausto Coppi, one can’t be sure. Coppi said, ‘You don’t win a bike race on mineral water alone’. He was right! Perhaps one would like some mineral water to wash down that lovely Spanish steak…

Vittel has a long history with le Tour, having been a feature ofthe infamous ‘publicity caravan’ since the 1960’s. They handed out half a million bottles of water from vehicles like this to road side fans at the 2011 tour.

The red and white branding is a familiar sight in the closing meters of a stage, lining the barriers. The company’s logo often takes centre stage in the spectacular arms raised shots of stage winners. Vittel is an unmissable part of the aesthetic de le Tour. Much in the same way as Dirk Hoffman Motorhomes are synonymous with the spring classics, we would miss it if it wasn’t there.


Clearly Vittel feel as though they are getting good value for money from the euro’s they spend advertising their products through cycling. Here’s a quick look at some of that advertising.

So, all that remains to be said is thank you Vittel! Clearly you have a passion for the sport that is being financially rewarded. Long may that continue.

One last aside before I finish up… another Coppi quote that came to mind when I say this tweet from the Evergreen Alessandro Ballan earlier today.

The 32 year old Italian was there or there abouts right through the classics, he was outgunned by Boonen in the sprints but consistently had the strength and racing brain to be in the right place at the right time. This Saturday he starts his first home Grand Tour, the Giro d’ Italia. I think we could easily see him win a stage.  I don’t know which stage, but up against all the young guns, with his experience…As Coppi (supposedly) said, ‘age and treachery will overcome youth and skill’. Good luck Alessandro!

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