Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec is putting a massive operation in place for the third stage of the Tour de France on Monday 7 July. The world’s biggest and best bike race kicks off today in Yorkshire.
An extensive management team will direct a 3,000-strong workforce who will be deployed along three sectors of a stage taking the world’s leading cyclists from Cambridge to London where they will finish in The Mall with Buckingham Palace as the backdrop.
It’s only the fourth time in the race’s illustrious history that the Tour de France has come to the United Kingdom, where Le Grand Depart takes place in Yorkshire.
While Showsec have some involvement in the delivery of the first two stages, the main focus of attention is on the third stage when ‘Le Tour’ heads south.
“The scale of the operation which we are putting in place makes this the biggest single day in the company’s history,” said Steve Reynolds, Showsec’s regional manager for the South who will be the Head of Stewarding on this particular occasion.
“Just to be part of a sporting event of this magnitude is a tremendous privilege, but the sheer size of that involvement makes it even more momentous. It’s a massive operation which reflects the iconic status of the Tour de France, the vast area which three sectors of this stage cover in the Greater London area and the enormous amount of interest in the sport from a spectator point of view.”
Reynolds added: “That interest has been heightened, of course, in the past couple of years by the success achieved by Sir Bradley Wiggins and then Chris Froome.”
Another link-up with Innervision
The Tour de France represents another high-profile opportunity for Showsec to link-up with Innovision who are responsible for production of the event.
“We have worked with Innovision in recent times on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, the Paralympic Marathon and the Athletes’ Parade following the London 2012 Olympics, so this is right up there alongside them,” commented Reynolds.
“They are a company who demand the highest quality of service. Therefore, the extent of our planning and preparation is geared to ensuring that is the case. There is no other event quite like the Tour, and the fact that it is a normal working day on Monday makes it a different dynamic in terms of the challenges we will face.”
Reynolds went on to state: “The fact that it is London means that we are expecting a huge turnout, especially at the big tourist attractions such as the Olympic Park, the Tower of London, along the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament and then the finish in The Mall.”
He added: “The convoy is massive, taking 30 minutes to pass through any one point and the cyclists are actually only a small part of it. In fact, it’s estimated that 40% of spectators are there to see the publicity caravan ‘train’ which is a parade of 190 promotional vehicles.”
The Tour de France Team in detail
While Reynolds will be heading up the whole operation from Palestra, Martin Lewis (Showsec’s area manager for Wales and the South West) will be fulfilling the role of operations co-ordinator based at the Olympic Park HQ Communications Centre.
The three area managers in the capital – Paul Legge (London East), Louise Stockden (London Greater) and Dayo Adelugba (London West) – will each manage a sector in that stage.
They will be supported by other members of Showsec’s management team together with a logistics operation comprising more than 80 members of staff.