Cycling: Scots out to lure the Tour

19th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

Scottish officials are campaigning to have cycling's premier event, the Tour de France, come to Scotland within the next few years.

   EDINBURGH, Dec 19, 2007 (AFP) - Scottish officials are campaigning to have
cycling's premier event, the Tour de France, come to Scotland within the next
few years.
   The summer marathon on two-wheels staged a major success this year with
huge crowds turing out to see the time-trial prologue in London followed by a
first stage down to the Channel coast.
   And with cycling a boom sport north of the border, the National events
agency EventScotland believes the time is ripe to lure the Tour.
   The organisation's corporate communications manager Leon Thompson told The
Scotsman newspaper: "We've had the early conversations about the possibility
of hosting the `Grand Depart' in Scotland.
   "It's an iconic world-class event, and the kind of event that would sit
very well within our portfolio of major events.
   "We haven't discussed possible years yet, or where it might
happen."            Scottish officials are currently active on several fronts
trying to bring top-class sports events to the country and they scored a
notable success last month with Glasgow winning the right to stage the 2014
Commonwealth Games.
   The Scottish Government have also backed a feasibility study to determine
whether Scotland could stage football's European Championships in 2016.
   The Scotsman said that Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had been
made aware of Scotland's interest in staging the prologue and first stage.
   The soonest Scotland could get involved, however, would be 2010, as Tour
officials have confirmed the event will start in Brittany and Monaco in the
next two years.
   Scottish Tour de France rider David Millar said: "It would be amazing, and
I think it is realistic."

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