Wales in talks to host the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France

Economy minister says 'productive conversations' have been held with organisers

Wales is in talks with the organisers of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France to host the Grand Départ of the two Grand Tours as the area continues to host major sporting events.

In recent years, Wales has hosted golf's Ryder Cup, matches in the rugby World Cup and the Ashes cricket test matches. On Saturday, Cardiff hosted the Champions League final and, Welsh Member of Parliament and current Welsh Economy minister, Ken Skates has suggested that it is time to attract other events, confirming that talks have been held with the organisers of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.

"I think there is great potential to host new major events that have not yet been to Wales," Skates said according to a report published by the BBC. "We have had productive conversations with the organisations behind these events. Cycling events such as the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France are hugely popular and we have proved we can host major cycling events in Wales, I would like to attract more.

"We have been speaking to the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France and that would be really exciting."

The Tour of Britain has visited Wales during the last seven editions of the race, including the start of the 2015 edition. Cardiff will host the final stage this year. It is not clear when the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia would eventually start in Wales.

The 2017 Tour de France will start in Dusseldorf, Germany, while the 2018 race will start in the Vendée region of France. Organisers ASO recently confirming that the 2019 Tour de France will start in Brussels to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx's first victory.

The Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport has still to reveal where the 2018 race, but Poland is the expected location after doubts emerged about a possible start in Israel.

Both races have started outside of France and Italy several times in recent years and so a start in Wales would not be a major problem.

The Giro d'Italia has started in Denmark, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands, with riders transferring to Italy by plane, while the Tour de France started in London in 2007 and then in Yorkshire in 2014.

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