Two French territorial authorities join team

Ville de Marseille and Région Sud- France partner with EF Education-NIPPO

EF Education–NIPPO is proud to announce two new partners joining us in the 2021 season: the Ville de Marseille and the Région Sud- France, two territorial authorities in the South of France.


“It’s no secret I personally love the South of France,” said EF Education–NIPPO CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “It’s an absolutely wonderful place to visit, to ride a bike, to race a bike, or to simply relax. From its incredible wines to the world class cycling roads and the friendly, welcoming people, the region has it all. I am excited to welcome two new partners to the team in Ville de Marseille and Région Sud- France.”


The region has a long and rich history of sporting excellence as well as cycling fandom. Marseille was named the European capital of sport in 2017, and will help host the 2024 Paris Olympic Games as an Olympic site. The Région Sud- France is a staple of the Tour de France with climbs such as Mont Ventoux, Col de la Bonette, and the Col de la Madone, and was the host of the most recent “Grand Départ” of the 2020 Tour in Nice.


The city of Marseille is the oldest city in France and is currently the second largest municipality after Paris. Marseille has been an important port of commerce and passage since antiquity due to its opening onto the Mediterranean Sea and has earned it the nickname of “Gateway of the East.”


Marseille, who just welcomed a new mayor – Benoît Payan – has ambitions of building upon the rich cycling history in the region. Marseille is home to developmental squad Velo Club La Pomme Marseille, which helped train numerous EF Education–NIPPO riders, including Alex Howes during the Chipotle-First Solar Development Team years, and will be placing an emphasis on developing cycling as part of the Marseillaise lifestyle in the years to come. 


The Région Sud- France is made up of six departments – Alpes-de-Haute Provence, Alpes Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Vaucluse, and Var. These departments, headed by president Renaud Muselier, are as diverse as they are beautiful.

For the inhabitants of the Région Sud- France – which encompases the regions surrounding Marseille, Nice, and Toulon – cycling has always been an essential part of their lifestyle and has drawn many tourists to the  area. The region includes coastal roads where one can explore the beautiful Côte d’Azur to the South, mountains with peaks above 4,000m (13,000ft) in the Hautes-Alpes to the North, and lavender fields on rolling hills of Provence in between. 


“We have a robust collection of partners with a distinct international flavor, and I think that gives us a unique opportunity to represent different parts of the world,” said Vaughters. “I’m excited for us to race in the beautiful Marseille area, and also hold camps there, exploring the Région Sud- France’s roads and natural beauty.”


EF Education–NIPPO will be kicking off our season at the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise, which is set to take place on Jan. 31. We can’t wait to explore this wonderful region of France and share our journey.