The pair of hi-viz-clad workers have a van, a giant tub of white paint, a roller and a route map of the three-week event.
They are trying to prevent TV cameras picking up on the wrong kind of French ‘Coq’, rather than the one that adorns the Le Coq Sportif logos of the Yellow Jersey.
Remarkably, phallic graffiti can be quite easily turned into an owl, a butterfly or even a bike with a bit of artistic license.
And that is the job of the two men who clean up the roadsides, as revealed by Dutch broadcaster NOS.
Much of the road paint is reserved for writing ‘Allez Pinot’ or ‘Allez Alaphilippe’ after the two French darlings of this year’s race.
And defending champion Geraint Thomas gets plenty of mentions on the tarmac too, most of it favourable.
Image-conscious Tour de France organisers ASO are worried the the wrong kind of helmets can affect the race’s commercial value with sponsors.
The race has ten official sponsors and various “suppliers” who are all happy to slap their corporate logos on the race’s various vehicles — all generating cash for the slick-run operation.
SCHLONG ROAD HOME
When the Grand Depart hit Yorkshire in 2014, around 10.7million people watched at least 15 minutes on ITV.
But there is a performance-related problem to having too much paint on the road, especially if it rains.
One fan was palmed on the backside by a cyclist after he and his friends mooned the entire peloton as it rode past.