Saturday June 17, 2006--Gerard Mistler, accompanied by local personalities of the Rhone Alpes region and the Department of Ardeche, set 8360 cyclists on their way to enjoy one of the 24 cycling courses making up the Ardechoise.
Earlier in the week, 500 kids took part in the Junior Ardechoise, held on Wednesday. Thursday saw the start of the 3-day Ardechoise with 2282 riders taking part, and on Friday 16 June, 2279 riders set off on the 2-day event. In total, 13512 cyclists descended on the village of Saint Felicien to celebrate this tremendous cycling festival where the quality of the organization and partners involved was matched by the breathtaking beauty of the routes and the warn reception reserved for the cyclists by the local in the villages through which they passed.
Over the years the Ardechoise has become a true festival, where for most of the riders, competition takes a back seat to meeting friends and making friends with people that share a passion for cycling.
For the 45-Euro cost to participants, L'Ardechoise offers tremendous value, and cyclists can enjoy the non-stop festival, fully supplied routes and an event jersey that will remain a 'collector's item'. The event also provides a tremendous example of eco-citizenship. For the first time, the Ecoflag-a symbol for environmental awareness and action in sport-was flying prominently at the event.
The French Cycling Federation was present throughout the event, and mention should be made of the collaborative efforts of the Village Partners, the Regional Olympic Committee and the Cyclosport Mission of the FFC.
For pictures of the Ardechoise 2006 see:
For the results see: http://www.ardechoise.com
AEC (Association Europeenne de Cyclosport)