Belgian province of Limburg to seek 2018 Tour de France start

The Flemish and Belgian flags wave wildly for Tom Boonen.

The Flemish and Belgian flags wave wildly for Tom Boonen. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Inspired by the success of the 2012 Tour de France start in Liege, the neighbouring Belgian province of Limburg has submitted an application to hold the start of the Tour in 2018. The province has already said that it would guarantee the necessary budget.

“The start of the Tour brings such massive public interest that we, as a cycling-friendly province, must respond,” spokesmen Jean-Paul Peuskens and Walter Cremers told Het Belang van Limburg, according to the Belga news agency.

The planners are already picking stage start and finishing towns, including Hasselt-Genk and Voeren. Former pro, and Tour yellow jersey holder, Marc Wauters, is providing technical assistance.

All final applications will be reviewed by the ASO in November. “Our dossier must be there then,” Cremes said. “We already have the necessary commitments from Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters.”

Wauters, who has been involved in the plans from the beginning, confirmed that there was serious contact between the province and the ASO, and also that the province would guarantee the required funds.

Limburg is in the northeast corner of Belgium, just north of Liege.

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