Manchester city councillors have denied they have been in touch with Tour de France organisers after it was previously reported the city was looking to host the Grand Départ in 2017. Councillor Rosa Battle, the city council’s executive member for culture and leisure, told the Manchester Evening News that the city is “not currently planning to take part in any bids.”
Speaking to the press in Utrecht on Saturday, before this year’s race began, Tour director Christian Prudhomme said that three British cities – London, Manchester, and an unnamed city in Scotland, most likely Edinburgh – were among those bidding to host the Grand Départ in 2017.
However, Battle says that this is not the case.
“Manchester’s commitment to cycling, and our status as a venue for world class sporting events, are well-known, and we will always explore any opportunities to host major events in the city. However, in this case we have had no contact with ASO, the organisers of Tour de France, and we are not currently planning to take part in any bids.”
Last week, we reported that preliminary talks have taken place regarding a possible London bid, and while Edinburgh was not named by Prudhomme, the city remains interested after missing out on the 2014 Grand Départ to Yorkshire.
Earlier this year, Prudhomme said that four cities in Germany have also put themselves forward as candidates for the 2017 race. It will have been 30 years since the last Grand Depart in Germany, which took place in West Berlin in 1987.