By Nigel Wynn published
Tour de France organiser ASO has announced that Nice will host the Grand Départ of the 2020 race.
It is the second time that Nice will have hosted the opening stages of the French Grand Tour, having already kicked off the three-week race in 1981.
The race last visited Nice in 2013 after it started in Corsica, where the city provided the platform for a team time trial stage.
The announcement was made the day after the conclusion of the 2018 edition of Paris-Nice, which featured a thrilling final stage in the hills surrounding Nice.
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said: "The most recent editions of Paris-Nice (including the one that just finished yesterday) have shown us that the variety of landscapes and relief in this region are conducive to suspense, attacking and a thrilling spectacle!
"This is exactly what we want in order to give the Tour de France 2020 a dynamic tone. In Nice, we know that the pack and its support staff will be immersed for almost a week in a friendly atmosphere brimming with enthusiasm for cycling."
Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, said that hosting the Grand Déepart will help to show off the city as a venue for other major sporting events.
"It is a source of immense pride to welcome the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2020 to Nice for a second time following 1981," said Estrosi.
"Le Tour is the third biggest international sporting event and consequently ensures considerable economic benefits for our entire area. Seven years after welcoming the 100th edition in 2013 which attracted almost 100,000 spectators, this is a further step which strengthens my desire to make Nice an essential city for hosting major sporting events.
"As a result, we will have our heart set on offering optimal conditions to the organisers and teams. Nice boasts an exceptional playground for cyclists, from the Promenade des Anglais up to the high passes of the Mercantour national park. This rich relief will make it possible to launch the 107th edition of the Tour de France in the finest way possible."
Nice is situated on the south-east coast of France, on the shores of the Mediterranean. No details have yet been released as to the nature of the opening stages of the 2020 race, although ASO says "the city’s roads and surrounding countryside will provide the organisers with opportunities to draw up a variety of scenarios in the first days of the 107th edition."
Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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