The 'Nevsky Tandem,' the Paris-Saint Petersburg bicycle race for tandem riders, will wind up August 26 at Palace Square here. Stefan Visconti, France's general consul in Saint Petersburg, said at a press conference yesterday: 'First of all, this is a matter of sport, but it is also a very indicative example of concern for others-as the tandems will include blind and nearly blind participants.'
The race set off August 3 from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The organizers are members of the French Association Valentin Hauy. The delegation of 53, which includes two descendants of Russian emigrants of the so-called first wave, numbers 17 blind and visually impaired riders among the group. 'In selecting our riders, we had to consider stamina as well as desire,' Visconti added.
The French group will be in Saint Petersburg for several days and will visit Peterhof and the Peter and Paul Fortress and will meet with representatives of the Society for the Blind. Race organizers here are the Saint Petersburg Special Olympics Committee, the Administration of Saint Petersburg and the General Consul of France.
The Association Valentin Hauy was founded in 1889. A non-governmental organization, it is supported by gifts. Its staff includes paid and volunteer workers, some not sighted.