ASO 'not angry' after London's Grand Depart backtrack, insists Prudhomme

Race director Christian Prudhomme insists ASO are not angry with London after the city withdrew its bid to host the 2017 Tour de France start

Christian Prudhomme before the start of Stage twenty of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Tour de France organisers ASO insist they are not angry that London pulled out of its bid to host the start of the 2017 race, despite media reports to the contrary.

It was reported on Monday that the English capital had beaten out bids from Manchester and Edinburgh to host the Grand Départ but Mayor Boris Johnson pulled the plug before a deal was signed.

Mr Johnson claimed the £35m required to host the race could be better spent elsewhere in the city, leaving ASO having to find a replacement.

"Contrary to what has been reported, we are not angry at all," race director Christian Prudhomme told Reuters.

"We are still grateful for the Grand Depart in 2007 and London pulling out does not change the fact that cycling is now big in Britain."

Prudhomme revealed the host city of the 2017 Grand Départ would be announced 'during the winter', with Germany the likely destination.

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