Jordi Hereu, mayor of Barcelona, has today presented the city's candidacy to host the start of the 2014 Tour de France to race organiser ASO. At an official presentation in Barcelona, race director Christian Prudhomme and ASO CEO Yann Le Moënner were shown the possibilities the Spanish city could offer at a Grand Départ of the French Grand Tour.
Because the Tour has established a tradition of starting from outside France every two years (2010 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and 2012 in Liège, Belgium), Hereu hopes that his candidacy can be successful. Moreover, the Tour has only started from Spain once in its history (from San Sebastian in 1992), and Barcelona can look back on a very successful stage finish in 2009.
The city of Florence, Italy, has also issued its candidacy for 2014, pointing out that it would honour the centenary birthday of the late Florence native Gino Bartali, who won the Tour in 1938 and 1948.
If successful, it would be the fourth time that Barcelona would welcome the French Tour after already hosting stages in 1957, 1965 and 2009.