Beyond showcasing cyclists’ skills the Tour de France is a three-week daily motorcade of cars, trucks, buses and motorhomes. Equipment trucks, team buses, race sponsors’ pristine Skodas and the tiniest Peugeot rentals, more than 1,000 official vehicles made the daily trip from the start to finish of each route from the start in Monaco.
This year’s race began in Monaco and advanced into Andorra, Spain, Switzerland and Italy and France.
I drove a 2009 Citroen C3 Picasso min-MPV. It’s a boxy crossover with a five-speed manual transmission, decent acceleration and a lot of storage room. It used diesel fuel, which in France (and other European countries) is more than $1 cheaper gallon than standard grade unleaded gas. It’s sold in liters, with 3.8 liters equaling a gallon. Prices varied from .88 to 1.15 euros per liter, or $3.34 to $4.37 per gallon.
During my 23 days at the Tour de France, I drove the Citroen 6,625 kilometers (4,115 miles). Someone stole a hubcap and small press sticker was peeled off the from rear window. Overall, the car performed well. It vibrated and lost some stability above kph (93.1 mph), but that didn’t stop me often from keeping up with the follow of traffic — in the slow lane.
Article Last Updated: August 4, 2009.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.