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Netherlands to get 2010 Tour départ

The Netherlands is assured of hosting the 2010 Tour de France Grand Départ after the German city of Düsseldorf withdrew its candidacy on Thursday. Mayor Dirk Elbers had difficulties raising the budget for a Grand Départ as local stakeholders were wary of having the city associated with the Tour de France after two years of doping cases have afflicted the race.

The 2010 Tour de France will now commence in the Netherlands as only the cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam are still in the running for selection.

After a start on home soil in Brest this year, the will launch from nearby Monaco in 2009. The last time the Tour de France started in the Netherlands was in 1996 in Den Bosch.

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