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2009 Tour de France to start in Monaco

According to Monday's Le Parisien, the 2009 Tour de France will start in Monaco, with the first stage being a 15.2km individual time trial. The French daily newspaper is part of the Amaury group which also owns Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).

The Tour de France regularly holds its opening stages outside of France and race director Christian Prudhomme recently said that roughly three out of every five Tour starts would take place in other countries.

"We have had a lot of bids," Prudhomme told AFP. "Rotterdam and Utrecht, Liege and Flanders, Dusseldorf, Lugano, Budapest, Florence, Monaco, the Basque country ..... even from Estonia and Qatar."

While this year's event kicks off in London, the 2008 race will begin in the Bretagne port city of Brest.

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