24 January 2006

2007 Tour de France to start in London

BerlinBear avatarExciting news for British cycling fans today: it has been announced that next year's Tour de France will start in London. In fact, London will host not one, but two stages. The prologue (a very short time trial which takes place the day before the first proper stage) will be in central London, while Stage 1 will start in London the following day and head South out of the capital through Kent.

The official Tour de France press release is short and to-the-point:
Amaury Sport Organisation announce today, Tuesday 24 January 2006, that London has been chosen to host the Grand Depart of the 2007 Tour de France.

Full details of the routes will be given at the official launch which will take place on Thursday 9 February 2006 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.
The BBC Sport website goes into a bit more detail, including details of the two previous times the Tour has visited Britain (though never London) and some hints as to which landmarks the London stages might take in.

To those in the know, this will not be a surprise, but will be welcome news nonetheless. It has been rumoured for at least the past two years that the 2007 Tour de France might begin in London. It's nice to know that this has now been confirmed. I'm sure London will do a great job of hosting the event, and it'll be good practice for the London Olympics.

Might be worth a trip.