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Düsseldorf drops out of 2010 Tour bidding

Düsseldorf, Germany, has withdrawn its application to hold the start of the 2010 Tour de France. Mayor Dirk Elbers said that the city "had expected to get a good image throughout the entire world with the race. But considering the current circumstances around the Tour, that it not a certainty. It is not even sure whether German television will carry the race."

In addition, it was expected that the city would have had to pay about six million Euro. According to the Rheinische Post, the cost was too high for the city, the politicians and the sponsors. Elbers had earlier told the newspaper that he would advise against bidding for the start if the cost exceeded six million Euros. The estimate came in a 5.996 million, "a 'coincidence' which had been forecast by some members of the committee and which was received with amusement and disgust." The city's sports committee subsequently decided to withdraw its bid.

According to the newspaper, Elbers had earlier said that he was not worried about the doping risk, but that the threat by the two German TV broadcasters ARD and ZDF to not carry the Tour "obviously changed the mood at City Hall."