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July 09, 2007

London Mayor says Tour will return, but when?

ITV News | Will Tour de France return?

London Mayor Ken Livingstone reports that Tour organizers were thrilled with the city's Grand Depart, which drew more than a million fans to the Prologue course Saturday, and an estimated 2 million more to the road course between London and Canterbury Sunday.

Livingstone gave a nod to the possibility of a visit in 2012, when London hosts the Olympic Games:

“I think realistically it would be five or six years. The organisers (the Amaury Sport Organisation) have said they are very pleased.”

He added: “The eyes of the world have been on London this weekend, and the first Grand Depart in the UK has been a phenomenal success.”

Update: William Fotheringham of The Guardian talked to Livingstone and Tour director Christian Prudhomme about a return to London yesterday, and Prudhomme would commit only to “after a respectable interval,” while Livingstone said “We hope to win the right to do it in 2013, 2014, something like that.” Prudhomme pointed to 224 requests to host stage starts or finishes, and 10 proposals from cities outside France for Grand Départs, which only leave France twice every 5 years.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2007 in London | Permalink

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