Three British cities have submitted bids to host the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2017, according to race director Christian Prudhomme.
Manchester, London, and an unspecified city in Scotland are in the running, with the capital looking to host the Tour on the 10-year anniversary of the race’s first visit.
After the wildly successful Grand Départ in Yorkshire last year, which was watched by an estimated five million people and generated a reported £102m in revenue, it’s little surprise to see interest among British cities to host the race start is high.
Yorkshire beat a rival bid from the Scottish capital Edinburgh to welcome the 2014 Tour, which is a likely candidate for the as-yet-unrevealed city north of the border. City councillor Steve Cardownie last July said: "We are looking at perhaps forming a bid with Event Scotland for either 2018 or 2019.”
Manchester was also part of that unsuccessful four-day British submission that sought to welcome last year’s race.
After starting in the Dutch city of Utrecht this year, 2016 sees the Grand Départ return to mainland France for the first time since 2011, on the island of Mont-Saint-Michel, which hosted stage 11 of the 2013 Tour. Should one of the three British bids be successful, it will be the 22nd time that the Tour has started outside of France.
Highlights of stage two of the Tour de France
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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