OGE to honour Anzacs with commemorative armband on stage 5 of the Tour de France

Tue 7 Jul 2015

Passing through key Australian battlefield sites from World War 1, stage 5 of the 2015 Tour de France takes on special significance for ORICA-GreenEDGE and the nation as a whole.

To honour the 295,000 Australians who fought and 46,000 who sacrificed their lives on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918, ORICA-GreenEDGE will wear a commemorative armband, with the Australian Centenary logo, for the duration of the tomorrow’s (8 July) racing.

“When the route was announced for the 2015 Tour de France we knew stage five was going to be of huge historical importance to us as an Australian team,” general manager Shayne Bannan said.

“We are really pleased that together with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Australian Embassy in France, and with the support of ASO, we are able to wear these commemorative armbands to honour our Anzacs and thank them, even if just in a small way, for their sacrifice towards our future.

“We are also looking forward to celebrating our country with the local towns along the stage route who are planning proud displays of their connection with Australia.”

The 189.5km stage from Arras to Amiens passes through Bullecourt, Pozières, Péronne and Villers-Bretonneux – all key battlefields for Australia in World War 1 and all included in the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front that has been developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Australian Ambassador to France, Stephen Brady AO CVO, talks of the significant impact of the battles in these areas on our country and the gesture of remembrance by the team.

“The Australian Government is very focused on appropriately commemorating the sacrifice of our young men who came so far to die on the battlefields of France,” Mr Brady said. “The French people in the local towns are also committed to their memory and they are delighted that the Tour de France will pass through their villages.”

“I am proud that the ‘Australian’ team ORICA-GreenEDGE is showing their support to the memory of these Australian men through the wearing of commemorative armbands. The Australian Centenary logo talks of a ‘Century of Anzac – the Spirit Lives’. This is exactly the enduring legacy we wish to pass to our youth. We will not forget the sacrifice of the First World War, their spirit does live on.

“The Tour de France is viewed by millions around the world and this symbolic gesture by ORICA-GreenEDGE, wearing an armband with the words a Century of Anzac – the Spirit Lives, on the very day the Tour passes through the battlefields of the Western Front is not only poignant but will ensure the Australian contribution to the First World War is not forgotten.”

In addition, the Santos Tour Down Under is also planning to join the celebration of Australian spirit, calling all Australian fans to join them at ‘Aussie Corner’.

“The Santos Tour Down Under is calling on all Aussies and Aussie cycling fans alike at the Tour de France this year to join forces and create Australia Corner in Villers-Bretonneux to commemorate the significance of this historic location for both countries,” Hitaf Rasheed, General Manager, Events South Australia said.

Cycling fans are being urged to head to to Villers-Bretonneux, the Stade Timerman at the corner of Rue d'Amiens and Rue de Corbie and make some noise.

“Bring your flags and Aussie pride to help the TDU create Australia Corner. This is an opportunity for the Australian fighting spirit to be celebrated, loud and proud.”