Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that he would hope to bring the Tour de France back to the UK capital one day.
Khan was talking to the Evening Standard about the sporting prowess of the city, which he hopes can also have an NFL franchise on top of hosting another edition of the world’s biggest bike race.
He said he has already spoken to organiser ASO, which was left with a bitter taste for London after a last minute rejection to host the 2017 start from former mayor Boris Johnson.
Johnson declared the hosting of the race “was not worth it”, with London set to foot total costs of around £35m to hold the Grand Départ in 2017.
London was on the eve of signing contracts with ASO to begin the race when Johnson took the decision to pull out in September 2015.
At the time, Khan, who was the Labour candidate for the upcoming mayoral election, said the government “had wasted a huge opportunity.”
Watch: Tour de France 2017 essential guide
Khan says though that ASO is not harbouring any animosity over the affair, saying there’s an understanding that it was “the previous guy.”
“They’re not holding a grudge from what happened last time,” Khan said, “they realise that was the previous guy.”
London already hosted a successful Grand Départ for the Tour in 2007, as well as having the third stage visit in 2014 after the race kicked off in Yorkshire.
It looks as though it could be some time before the Tour returns however. 2017 will see the race begin on foreign soil in Düsseldorf, Germany, before a home start in Vendee in 2018.
Brussels, Belgium is the current front runner for 2019, though there are potentially bids yet to be made public for that year. Portsmouth has already pulled out of its bid to hos the race in 2019.
With another second consecutive foreign start unlikely for 2020, it could be 2021 at the earliest for another UK Grand Départ.