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July 4, 2015
Each year, cyclists from around the globe gather together for 23 days to compete in the Tour de France. In 2015, the race began in Utrecht, a large city in the central-western region of Randstad in the Netherlands. The Grand Depart, the starting point of the Tour, took place at the Jaarbeurs, a convention center in the heart of Utrecht. From July 1st until July 5th, the exhibition space hosted the Avant Tour. This event marked the pre-celebratory activities of the competition and featured La Caravane Publicitaire.
La Caravane Publicitaire is a fleet of vehicles that drive ahead of the cyclists to promote sponsors of the event. The cars usually pass through approximately an hour before the cyclists arrive. They hand out promotional items from decorated vehicles. This practice of allowing advertisers on the trail officially began in 1930. Due to its popularity, La Caravane Publicitaire has, at times, included over 200 vehicles and reached lengths of up to 12.5 miles (20 km).