Rotterdam keen to host a second Tour de France Grand Depart

Dutch port hopes to involve other cities and regions

Rotterdam is keen to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, with hopes that early stages of the Grand Tour could be held near the port city in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam hosted the Grand Depart in 2010, with Fabian Cancellara winning the opening time trial ahead of Tony Martin and David Millar. A million people reportedly enjoyed the opening weekend in the city.

The race then headed to Brussels and Spa in Belgium before reaching France. The 2015 Tour de France passed through Rotterdam after the Grand Depart in Utrecht.

The Tour de France often starts out of France, with hugely successful Grand Departs in London, Brussels, Utrecht, Yorkshire, Dusseldorf in Germany, Dublin, San Sebastian and Monaco.

Next year is the start of the Tour de France in Brussels. This was chosen as a tribute to Eddy Merckx. In 2019, it will be 50 years since the Belgian won his first Tour de France.

Under the name of 'Rotterdam Demareert', the Dutch city hopes to secure the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2023, 2024 or at the latest 2025. Local Alderman Sven de Langen, responsible for Public Health, Care, the Elderly and Sport hopes other Ditch cities and the state government will become involved.

"Our city is ideally suited for this kind of large international event. However, we do not want to do this alone. For these events we look for cooperation with the other major cities in the country and with the areas around us," de Langen told Dutch media. 

"We want this to be events from all over the Netherlands. We want to be full on the pedals. Hence this decision and the invitation to others: join us. Let's make a party for the whole of the Netherlands together."


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