The UK could host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France for a second time, as the government has announced a bid to hold the 2026 event.
As part of the upcoming budget announcement on Wednesday (October 26), Chancellor Rishi Sunak will allocate £30million funding to prepare bids to hold the opening stages of the 2026 Tour and the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup.
The Tour de France last visited the UK in 2014, with the opening two stages taking place in Yorkshire, and stage three running from Cambridge to London, before the race returned to its homeland.
As reported by The Independent, British Cycling chief executive Brian Facer said: “The 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire was an unforgettable celebration of our sport and is still talked about to this day, inspiring a new generation of cyclists.
"More importantly, those few days showcased our country’s credentials as one of the world’s best cycling nations, and we’re delighted to be supporting the UK government’s bid to bring the sport’s showpiece event back to these shores in 2026.”
The Tour de France has only started in the UK on two previous occasions, in 2007 and 2014 - in 2007 the race started with a prologue in London followed by a road stage from the capital to Canterbury, while the 2014 addition established Yorkshire as a cycling heartland in the UK.
Following the success of the Yorkshire Grand Départ, Tour de France organiser was inspired to establish the Tour de Yorkshire, a race that is now in doubt after a combination of financial difficulties and controversy.
Chancellor Sunak said: “Britain is world-beating in both rugby and cycling, and bringing these events home will allow thousands of people to see the next generation of British sporting heroes.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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