The Tour de France is unlikely to come to Scotland in the next few years after the CEO of Scottish Cycling deemed it not a “priority”.
CEO Craig Burn says he would instead prefer to focus on making sure the Women’s Tour of Scotland, which concluded over the weekend with Leah Thomas (Bigla) taking the victory, remains on the calendar for many years to come.
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Burn pointed to the cost of hosting a Grand Départ and said he would happily re-open discussions as long as the prices being quoted were more “sensible”.
“We had conversation with [the Tour de France] before it went to Yorkshire,” Burn told BBC Sport.
“There’s a huge cost to that and it’s a one-off. If they are really interested and want to come to us and talk sensible sums, the door will always be open,” Burn said.
Instead, the focus will be on encouraging the Women’s Tour to come to Scotland as well as continuing to see the Tour of Britain venture north.
“I think there are other things we can do to inspire the nation and make good use of public and commercial money without chasing it,” Burn said. “The Tour de France is all fine and well but our focus will be around trying to embed the Women’s Tour and hopefully ensuring the Tour of Britain is part of Scotland going forward as well.”
The Tour de France’s Grand Départ took place in Brussels this year, with Yorkshire chosen for the 2014 edition and before that London in 2007.
Last week’s Women’s Tour of Scotland was the first edition of the race, with only one slight hitch when stage one was called off due to extreme weather conditions.
The race was the culmination of many years of hard work, said Burn, who hopes to make it an annual event.
“There has been a lot of work behind the scenes for many years to bring a race like this here,” Burn said. “Hopefully we will make it even bigger and better. What’s really exciting is that it will be an annual event – if we can embed that it’s about how clubs, communities and businesses get involved. We have an opportunity to make something unique.”