Archbishop André Lacrampe of Besancon rode in a press car Tuesday on the 16th stage of the tour that covered the 124 miles from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau.
The prelate followed the two leaders of the race, Spaniard Alberto Contador and Luxembourger Andy Schleck, as they climbed highest summit in the central Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet.
“We must live the dimension of faith in all the realities of existence. There is nothing that must leave us indifferent,” the archbishop noted in a statement published on the Web page of the archdiocese.
A native of the Pyrenees and a cyclist “when I was young,” the archbishop said the stage was a “return to his roots” and a way to converse and share moments with the sports directors and cyclists, as well as with other Christians taking part in the tour.
The archbishop stressed the values that this sport promotes, such as “courage, abnegation, effort, perseverance,” as well as the “simplicity.” He also praised the aspects of teamwork and universal openness of the event.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the tour in the Pyrennes. The competition ends Sunday in Paris.