Tour de France to remember London bombings

9th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - The 2007 Tour de France will start in London's Trafalgar Square on July 7, the second anniversary of the bombings of the City's underground train system which claimed the lives of 52 commuters.

LONDON, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - The 2007 Tour de France will start in London's Trafalgar Square on July 7, the second anniversary of the bombings of the City's underground train system which claimed the lives of 52 commuters.

The opening prologue in the race will take riders down Whitehall and past landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

London paid 1.5 million pounds (EUR 2.19 million) to beat off competition from other European cities for the right to host the start of the world's greatest cycling race.

City officials are hoping the event will give tourism a major boost and help further increase the use of bicycles by London residents.

"When the Grand Depart gets here next summer, it will receive the biggest welcome from the fastest growing cycling city in Europe," said London's mayor, Ken Livingstone.

The first full stage of the tour, on July 8, will take the peloton from London down into Kent with the finish in the historic city of Canterbury.

It will be the first time the Tour has started in England. Stages have previously been held here in 1974 and 1994, attracting huge crowds.

Livingstone said victims of the July 7 bombings would not be forgotten.

"Having the Grand Depart on July 7 will broadcast to the world that terrorism will not win," Livingstone said.

"It does not change our city. It does not shake our faith. There can be no better way of celebrating the unity of humanity than this great sporting event coming to us on that date and being seen by millions safely and happily."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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