Cycling’s coming home

Withing the next six weeks we’ll have the dates for the Tour de France’s next visit to the UK. It could be as soon as 2014 but if this doesn’t happen, it’ll be the year after, such is organiser, ASO’s enthusiasm to revisit our shores.

Race director Christian Prudhomme wants to capitalise on Wiggo mania as soon as possible. Britain has gone big on bike racing and ASO want to be part of it.

London’s Grand Départ in 2007 is still reckoned to be the best ever Tour opener and now after the phenomenal success of the Olympics, you can see why the French can’t wait to get back.

I really didn’t think that the crowds packing the capital for the prologue five years ago could ever be bettered. But then came London 2012 – nobody had ever seen anything quite like it. It’ll be a tough act to follow but then there’s no race quite like the Tour.

Although we know the big race is coming, the only uncertainty is where to? The complication is that there are actually two rival British bids with Scotland and Yorkshire both wanting to stage the start.

Most is known about the Grand Départ in Edinburgh, followed by stages in England and Wales, which would bring the race to within an hour’s drive of half of the UK’s population. Ambitious plans, but after this summer, just about anything is possible.

This article was first published in the November 8 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.