Manchester City Council has denied it is bidding to host the Grand Depart of the 2017 Tour de France, despite race director Christian Prudhomme saying the city was one of three British cities in the race.
Prudhomme stated that London, Manchester and an unnamed Scottish city, likely to be Edinburgh, were bidding to host the Tour, which only came to the UK in 2014.
A London bid would mark the tenth anniversary of the Tour starting in the capital, with Fabian Cancellara taking the prologue win and first yellow jersey that year.
And while the Manchester Evening News points out that the north-west city is arguably the home of cycling in Britain, with the National Cycling Centre in the city, council bosses are distancing themselves from the speculation.
Councillor Rosa Battle, the city council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Manchester’s commitment to cycling, and our status as a venue for world class sporting events, are well-known, and we will always explore any opportunities to host major events in the city.
“However, in this case we have had no contact with ASO, the organisers of Tour de France, and we are not currently planning to take part in any bids.”
Highlights of stage four of the Tour de France