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Liège wants 2012 Tour start

By Susan Westemeyer

Liège, Belgium, wants to host the start of the Tour de France in 2012, the city announced at a press conference. Liège is also a candidate for a stage of the 2009 Vuelta a España and a stage of the 2010 Tour.

"Such international competitions are very important for our image and ensure an economic force," politician Christophe Lacroix said, according to The Tour last visited the city in 2004.

If the Tour start can be arranged, "we probably will have to look for partners. The investment is not exactly small," Lacroix noted. He is confident about the city's chances, saying, "Our contact with the Tour directors is excellent. We have an agreement in principle for 2010 and 2012."