Cycling: Without volunteers, no Tour de Romandie!

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Many of them invest themselves so that everything goes as well as possible at the start and finish of the stages of the Romande loop. Overview Wednesday at La Grande-Béroche, on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel.

par
Renaud Tschoumy

(La Grande-Beroche (NE))

President of the organizing committee, the chancellor of La Grande-Béroche Nicolas Pfund poses in front of the gate at the start of the first stage, at the landing stage of Saint-Aubin.

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The Tour de Romandie, like any major cycling event, has its rules, its codes of conduct and a well-established organization. But, at the start and finish of each stage, the organizers benefit from the support of a local committee, very often led by enthusiasts, and which can count on the commitment of dozens of volunteers.

Wednesday in La Grande-Béroche – a Neuchâtel town born in 2018 from the merger of six towns or villages, including Bevaix, Saint-Aubin or Gorgier – there were more than twenty to get involved. All had an appointment at the landing stage of Saint-Aubin at 8:30 a.m., more than four hours before the start of the first stage. After the coffee-croissant welcome, they touched their equipment, in this case a T-shirt and a blue windbreaker, stamped “Tour de Romandie, La Grande-Béroche – Romont 2022”.

They then perfectly played their role, which had been clarified a few weeks earlier. Some for the specific reception of guests and VIPs, others at a crossroads, still others for the reception of everyone in the departure area or reserved for parking vehicles.

Nicolas Pfund (centre) gives his final instructions to two volunteers, who have just received their T-shirts and jackets.

Nicolas Pfund (centre) gives his final instructions to two volunteers, who have just received their T-shirts and jackets.

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Chancellor of La Grande-Béroche – as the municipal secretary is called in the canton of Neuchâtel – and president of the local organizing committee, Nicolas Pfund underlined how important this commitment was. “Today (Wednesday), we have 30 people from the CP and more than twenty committed volunteers, he explained before leaving. When we embarked on the organization of this stage start, we quickly noticed that we would need people on D-Day. Hence our appeal to people, through the press in particular.

“The sports vector is important. If Neuchâtel is known abroad, it is mainly thanks to Xamax”

Nicolas Pfund, Chancellor of La Grande-Béroche

This investment obviously corresponds to the desire of the municipal authorities to get people talking about their region. “The sporting vector is important, continues Nicolas Pfund. If Neuchâtel is known abroad, it is mainly thanks to Xamax and its history. So we wanted to position ourselves and show the beauties of our region.”

And it goes without saying that the commitment of these twenty people was highly appreciated. “Without volunteers, organizing a stage start is very expensive,” continues the Chancellor. All the work done by these people is what we should have paid extra for. In our municipality, as elsewhere, we need people who are committed, whether in sport, culture or any other field. We are therefore very grateful to these twenty one-day employees, who have proven their civic commitment to their municipality.”

Was twenty people enough? “Yes, we didn’t need more. It was just the right number to make everything go perfectly.

When the peloton set off under guidance at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, the work of these volunteers came to an end. The Tour de Romandie had left La Grande-Béroche, it was back to normal life. Until next time maybe…

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