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Big changes at ASO

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When you wish upon a Tour: Merckx, Hinault and Indurain attend Thursday's press conference.

The Tour de France will be trading the Champs-Élysées for Main Street following news that the Walt Disney Company (DIS) has purchased Tour owner ASO.

Disney officials confirmed the news Thursday, saying there will be noticeable changes in the Tour de France as soon as this summer.

“We believe the Tour is a great tool to promote our Disney theme parks and merchandise on an international level,” said president and CEO Rob Eiger. “We are going to make some small changes that will not change the integrity of the event but will allow us to maximize our investment.”

Changes include:

● The maillot jaune will retain its yellow hue, but the emblematic Mickey Mouse ears will be added to the motif. The jersey will be called “maillot Mickey jaune.”

● Other jerseys will also retain their traditional color and look, but with new touches. The climber’s jersey trademark polka-dots will be replaced by “Dumbo ears” in honor of Marco Pantani. The green jersey will sport “Thumper” legs and the white jersey will pay homage to “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs.” The team prize will feature a “Pirates of the Caribbean” logo, with the winning squad earning a week’s vacation on Johnny Depp’s private island in the Bahamas.

● Winners of each stage will be required to scream “I’m going to Euro-Disney!” after each interview.

● Podium girls will be replaced by life-sized models of Minnie Mouse, Mary Poppins, Jessica Rabbit and Cinderella.

● The traditional finish on the Champs-Élysées will now be held on Main Street USA at the Euro-Disney park outside of Paris.

● A special “Pinocchio” award will be presented to riders caught in anti-doping controls, with a $25,000 bonus to go toward lawyer fees.

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