Barcelona hopes to host Tour de France’s kick off in 2014
The Mayor believes the Catalan capital has a real chance of being chosen as the starting city to the world’s most famous bike race and the Tour organisation says it is a ‘remarkable candidature’.
Barcelona (ACN). The Tour de France could set out from Barcelona in 2014. Tour organisers said the city has made a strong proposal and Barcelona’s Mayor Jordi Hereu is “hopeful” that the Catalan candidature will be chosen and looks forward to “signing an agreement and the contract as soon as possible”.
Hereu added that the cost of organising such an event in Barcelona would be a useful “investment”, because of the “economic and promotional impact on the city”. The mayor said the Tour “creates benefit in the short, mid and long term” and recalled that “if profits were generated back in 2009, then today it is clear that they will be multiplied”. However, neither Hereu nor Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France’s director, explained the economic cost of hosting the event.
Jordi Hereu and Pere Alcober, Sports technical director at the Town Hall, met Prudhomme and Yann Le Moëner, general director of the Amaury Sport Organizsation –an association that organises many sporting events, the Tour de France included- in order to submit Barcelona’s candidature in 2014. The experience of 2009, during which a stage of the Tour arrived in the capital of Catalonia, works in favour of the candidature. Prudhomme declared that they “can’t forget how the people of Barcelona came out to welcome the cyclists and participated in all the activities that were prepared for the day”.
Italy, France and Great Britain have also presented proposals. Florence, for instance, has based its offer around the birthday of its greatest cyclist, Gino Bartalli. Despite this, Prudhomme confirmed that Barcelona has a “remarkable candidature”.