Edinburgh has secured a £225,000 deal to hold two stages of the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain and one Pearl Izumi Tour Series event.

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Edinburgh’s Culture and Sport Committee approved funding for the two flagship British events to the city this afternoon.

The move could take Edinburgh one step closer to hosting the opening stage of the Tour de France. The city narrowly lost out to Yorkshire this year to host the start of the event.

The original plans for Edinburgh’s failed 2014 Grand Depart bid envisaged a Prologue in the city centre, home to two Unesco World Heritage sites in the shape of the Old Town and the New Town, followed by a road stage.

By the time the final bid, which had the backing of British Cycling, had been submitted, the race was due to start with a road stage heading south from Edinburgh, with two subsequent stages taking the race south via northern England into Wales, then towards the Channel Ports.

Councillor Steve Cardownie said if the events were a success the council would be well equipped to think about bidding with partners for part of the Tour de France in 2018 or 2019, reports BBC News.

Meanwhile, the success of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire has sparked off a stampede from other areas of the country.

Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has had requests from no fewer than seven local authorities anxious to replicate Yorkshire’s triumph.

It was estimated that some six million people turned out to watch the British stages of the TdF 2014, and the 2015 race.

The 2015 Tour de France route will be unveiled by ASO on Wednesday in Paris, with historic climbs like Alpe d’Huez and the Mur de Huy expected to feature on the route.

  • Mark Jones

    This shows how the Tour of Britain has progressed that cities like Edinburgh (and in 2014 Bristol, Bath and Brighton) want to see the race come to them.