Visitors truly experience all the aspects that the Tour circus has to offer. By means of a virtual track they can either cycle mountain passes or comment on a mass sprint as a sports reporter. Stories of both former cyclists and reporters shed new light on heroic victories and historical moments from the past. Legendary photographs and film fragments of Dutch participants in the Tour de France are also put on display. ‘Tour Experience' is a true feast for anyone who loves sports and cycling!
‘Tour Experience' focuses on the Netherlands and the Tour de France. All cities that have ever been the starting point of the cycling race are paid special attention to: from Amsterdam in 1954, the very first city outside France from which the peloton had ever departed, up to Rotterdam as the fifth-in-line Dutch city to be the starting point of the Tour in 2010. The rapid change of both the Tour and cycling in general becomes visible. The bicycle of Jan Janssen is in no way similar to the aerodynamic cycles used for racing nowadays. Knitted cycling garments which are presented, refer to times long gone by. Not only cycling itself, but also the entire Tour caravan has altered enormously over the years. The media hype surrounding the spectacle and the fame of the cyclists have both increased tremendously, just as the number of masseurs who are ready and willing to take care of the cyclists 24/7. ‘Tour Experience' pays attention to all those who participate in the cycling race: from masseur to team leader, from sponsor to reporter and from mechanic to tour hostess.
The Tour victories by Jan Jansen in 1968 and by Joop Zoetemelk in 1980: they are both milestones in the Dutch history of the Tour. The yellow jersey worn by Zoetemelk when he cycled towards victory through the Parisian streets is put on display, just as the bicycles of both Dutch winners. The exhibition brings together victories by cyclists like Knetemann, Boogerd, Winnen, Theunisse and Gesink. Other memorable moments, like the bad fall of Wim van Est, are also brought to the notice. Special attention is paid to Bordeaux and the Alpe d'Huez. Both are places where the Dutch have managed to gain stage victories. Moreover, the Alpe d'Huez is the main place where Dutch fans gather in order to encourage ‘their' heroes.
The ‘Tour Experience' offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to find out for themselves what it means to participate in the most renowned cycling event of the year. A virtual track offers visitors the opportunity to ride the prologue of Rotterdam themselves. At set times visitors are allowed to take place on the massage table in order to get a professional massage. At a mass sprint both young and old can take on the role of Mart Smeets, providing live commentary on the race. Especially for children, a special track is laid out throughout the exhibition. They can design their own jersey and may ride various different bicycles. Through several activities they discover how and what cyclists eat and drink during the race, what stages are, and why cyclists ride as a team.
Granddepart 2010, Rabobank, Beeld en Geluid, ANP, Erasmus MC en Rotterdam Festival