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Mayor keen to see Tour de France Grand Départ return to London

Joseph Delves
16 Mar 2017

Former Mayor Boris Johnson had declined to host this year’s event citing cost

In an interview with the Evening Standard, the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has stated his desire to see the Tour de France return to the capital. Negotiations to host this year’s Grand Départ were at an advanced stage, with a deal with the race’s owners Amaury Sports Organisation reported to have been a formality.

However, Kahn’s predecessor Boris Johnson cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Reacting to the decision three time winner Chris Froome previously said it was 'a great shame that London have dropped their bid.'

Having hosted the race in both 2007 and 2014 former visits had been judged a huge success in terms of the crowds that attended. Despite this, Johnson claimed the estimated £35 million 'was not worth it' and that the money could be better spent on infrastructure.

The 2017 Grand Départ instead went to Düsseldorf, Germany. The last minute decision to withdraw London’s bid led to a degree of ill feeling at the time.

Khan has met with Tour de France officials who have reportedly assured him that 'they’re not holding a grudge from what happened last time: they realise that was the previous guy.'

With decisions regarding who might host the start of the Tour taken several years ahead of the event, any possibility of its return is likely some time away.

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