Wales has confirmed that it has been speaking to the organisers of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia about bringing the race to the country.
Following on from Cardiff’s successful staging of football’s Champions League final last weekend, the Welsh Government has confirmed that it has been in discussions with both ASO – who run the Tour – and RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro.
Although coy on specifics, the idea, presumably and logically, would be for the country to host either the Tour’s Grand Départ or the start of the Giro. There was no timescale mentioned.
Wales has hosted a stage of the Tour of Britain in each of the last seven years, with routes visiting north, south and east Wales. This year’s national tour climaxes with a finishing circuit in Cardiff, the fulfilment of a long-term agreement with the Welsh Government and Tour of Britain organisers, SweetSpot.
The Welsh Government believe their record of hosting the Tour of Britain, Velothon Wales and staging sportives such as the Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales (which is run by ASO) stands them in good stead to host at least one the two biggest Grand Tours.
Speaking to the BBC, Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “Cycling events such as the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are hugely popular and we have proved we can host major cycling events in Wales, I would like to attract more.
“We have been speaking to the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France and that would be really exciting.”
Yorkshire hosted the Tour de France in 2014, the last British region to do so.
London was in line to host the start of next month’s Tour but it pulled out in the final moments.
Portsmouth have long-since wanted to bring the race to the south coast but it has had to refocus its options after it accepted that it wouldn’t be able to bring the race to the city in 2019; indeed, Brussels was awarded that year’s start date last week.