Foreign Grands Départs for the Tour de France might be fun, but we should put a cap on them

Barcelona 2026 will be the Tour’s fourth foreign start in five years. Is it time to think about the environment before profit?

Tour de France in Bilbao
The Tour de France in Bilbao in 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Adam Becket
Adam Becket

News editor at Cycling Weekly, Adam brings his weekly opinion on the goings on at the upper echelons of our sport. This piece is part of The Leadout, a newsletter series from Cycling Weekly and Cyclingnews. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here. As ever, email - should you wish to add anything, or suggest a topic.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Barcelona will host the start of the 2026 Tour de France, meaning that four out of the last five Tours will not start in France - Copenhagen 2022, Bilbao 2023, Florence 2024, Barcelona 2026.

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Adam Becket
News editor

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s news editor – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing. He's usually out and about on the roads of Bristol and its surrounds. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.