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Next week sees XPO Logistics begin its 40th annual stint as the official transport partner of the Tour de France.

From 29 August a team of 68 XPO drivers will drive 52 trucks across 3,479 kilometres, moving over 420 tons of cargo along the course and covering all 21 stages of the race until the Tour declares a winner in Paris on 20 September.

XPO is responsible for ensuring that barriers, gates, course paint, furniture, audio-visual equipment and other supplies are transported from stage to stage according to requirements.

XPO won an extension to its Tour de France contract with event organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) which runs to the end of 2024.

This year the race was rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also required XPO to work closely with A.S.O. to implement health and safety protocols based on guidance from the French government and the Tour organisation.

All drivers will be given safety training on race protocols and will be equipped with masks, sanitizing gel, disinfectants and a manual of safety procedures. A team of specially trained XPO staff and instructors will support the drivers at each stage.

In addition, for the first time, XPO will use two natural gas-powered trucks from its eco-friendly fleet for the final arrival at the Champs-Élysées finish line.

Luis Gomez, XPO transport Europe MD, said: “We’re thrilled to be marking four decades with the Tour de France. XPO’s support of A.S.O. is at a record level for this year’s race – we’ll have more trucks and drivers moving cargo more safely than ever before, with greener operations. Our service to the Tour is a source of pride for everyone at XPO.”

“In these demanding times, we have the best possible transport partner on our team,” said Jean-Luc Duplantier, logistic director of A.S.O.

“XPO’s commitment to health and safety has been evident since the start of their planning process five months ago. Their solutions have risen to the challenge, and we are once again bringing the Tour de France to over ten million fans worldwide.”