Cycling

Shock at Tour de France Chilean wine deal

Tour de France (File)
Tour de France (File)

Toulouse - There was a whiff of revolt in France on Friday as news broke that the Tour de France organisers had struck a deal to promote a Chilean wine at its 2016 event.

The wine "Bicicleta" from Chile's Cono Sur is the wine in question, and will only be allowed on the promotional events outside France, in Switzerland, Andorra and Spain.

But domestic wine producers were up in arms.

"It's unacceptable to allow the Tour de France organisers to promote a wine from Chile," the Young Farmers group (JA) said on its website. 

"They should be supporting only French produce," it continued.

The group have threatened to disrupt one of the stages in the Aude region between Carcassonne and Montpellier if the partnership goes ahead.

"How did it come to this surprising end," asked Socialist Party senator Roland Courteau in a letter to Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

The company that runs the Tour, ASO, has so far insisted it sees nothing wrong with the deal.

The 206 Tour de France is the 103rd such event and is a key moment in the nation's sports agenda, with this year's edition running between July 2-24.

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