Barcelona hoping to host part of Tour de France cycling race
Deputy mayor Jaume Collboni meets with grand tour general director about bringing event to Catalonia
Barcelona is hoping to host a part of the Tour de France cycling race, the biggest annual event in the sport, according to city deputy mayor Jaume Collboni.
The Catalan capital will already be the headquarters of this year's La Vuelta grand tour, with two stages taking place in the city, and now city officials are working on bringing other major sporting events to Barcelona.
Collboni met with Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of bringing one of the world's biggest sporting competitions to the Catalan capital, saying the city is "preparing" to host the competition.
It is not uncommon for cycling grand tours of one country to contest stages in another country. This year's La Vuelta a España, presented in Barcelona on Tuesday night, will see some stages be held in the French Pyrenees.
Le Tour has passed through Barcelona three times before, most recently in 2009, but also in 1957 and 1965. In 2009, the 6th stage of the tour saw riders go 181.5km southward from Girona to Barcelona, with the stage won by Norwegian Thor Hushovd.
The following day, athletes raced from the Catalan capital up to Andorra. The 224km mountain stage was won by French rider Brice Feillu.
During the presentation of the 2023 Vuelta a España cycling race in Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and deputy mayor Jaume Collboni both reiterated the city's desire to become a host for major international sporting events.
In their speeches, both politicians made reference to the fact that the 2024 America's Cup will be held in the Catalan capital too.
During that sailing competition, fans will be able to watch the race from the shoreline, as the course will pass only 200m away from the coastline.