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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Saturday, I was at the finish line of the stage that ended in Toulouse. Given the rain and the speed of the peloton as it hit the finish line, all I saw of the race was a great blur. But, during the lead up to the peloton's coming through, I witnessed a very interesting series of interactions. Right at the finish line there was a very distinguished looking Gendarme -- his Kepi was covered with tons of gold braid. Whenever he would even glance at the other Gendarmes in the vicinity, they would snap to attention. As the official cars came through and disgorged the occupants, various officials of the race, including Christian Prudhomme, ceremoniously would put on their jackets, come over to Mr. Gold Braid and shake his hand with deference, as if he were the President of the Republic. Given the police activity with respect to the dopers (or, I guess I should say "suspected" dopers) at this year's TDF, the interactions I saw in Toulouse on Saturday make we wonder who really runs the TDF -- the ASO or the French police authorities? Is it a partnership? Or, is the government dictating the terms and conditions of the race?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
empty_set said:
I would think there would be fairly large amount of cooperation between them in order to put on such a month-long spectacle like the Tour.
I have seen enough stages of the Tour to know that there has to be a large amount of cooperation between the ASO and the authorities. There are literally thousands of gendarmes, police, firefighters and other government employees securing the route of the Tour, closing down roads, etc. However, there was just something that struck me about the great deference that everyone, including the Director of the race itself, gave to the obviously high-ranking gendarme at the finish line in Toulouse.
 

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This guy?

MarkS said:
On Saturday, I was at the finish line of the stage that ended in Toulouse. Given the rain and the speed of the peloton as it hit the finish line, all I saw of the race was a great blur. But, during the lead up to the peloton's coming through, I witnessed a very interesting series of interactions. Right at the finish line there was a very distinguished looking Gendarme -- his Kepi was covered with tons of gold braid. Whenever he would even glance at the other Gendarmes in the vicinity, they would snap to attention. As the official cars came through and disgorged the occupants, various officials of the race, including Christian Prudhomme, ceremoniously would put on their jackets, come over to Mr. Gold Braid and shake his hand with deference, as if he were the President of the Republic. Given the police activity with respect to the dopers (or, I guess I should say "suspected" dopers) at this year's TDF, the interactions I saw in Toulouse on Saturday make we wonder who really runs the TDF -- the ASO or the French police authorities? Is it a partnership? Or, is the government dictating the terms and conditions of the race?
Was it this gold-braided fellow? There's a long story about his involvement in the tour. Cycling nut Robin Williams just about lost his head over some disagreement with him.

 
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