21 January 2017 | 0 °C

Tour de London

By Rob Last edited 132 months ago
Tour de London
tourdefrance.jpg

We said in this morning's Extra, Extra section that London was a "very strong candidate" to be the site of the start of the 2007 Tour de France.

Well, we didn't lie, because in the past few hours Ken has announced that organisers the Amaury Sport Organisation, have award London the 'Grand Depart'.

Here's the statement:

'I am proud to announce that London has successfully bid to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July 2007. Hosting the first stage of the legendary French cycle race will raise the profile of cycling in the capital, attract visitors and promote the capital as a venue for international sporting events. Cycling in the capital is growing faster than anywhere else in Europe. I want London to become a world-class cycling city and Transport for London has increased investment in cycling from £5.5 million in 2000, to £24 million this year.

'Today's announcement is great news for cycling and for London and we will unveil the route at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 9 February.'

Now we'd just like you to imagine for a second an alternative reality where the Tour de France didn't exist and it was the Tour of Britain instead.

Now, in that reality, imagine that London had been favourites to win the 2012 Olympics but Paris has robbed us of it at the last minute (you can see where we're going here can't you).

Under those circustances do you think we'd have let Paris host the beginning of one of our most prestigious national events?

Last Updated 24 January 2006