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London start for the Tour de France?

According to a report in today’s Guardian, Tour Director Jean-Marie Leblanc will give a decision on a London prologue for the 2007 Tour in a year’s time.

Leblanc and Mayor Livingstone met face-to-face for the first time yesterday to discuss the Tour proposals from Transport for London. Livingstone’s first proposal towards the end of last year envisioned a link-up with the Tour in 2006 and offered a course that took in Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge. But Leblanc has since said that 2007 would be the earliest possible date for the Tour to return to England for the third time in its 100-year history.

Following yesterday’s meeting Leblanc said that the decision on 2007 would have to wait until details for 2006 were confirmed, which would not be for another year – Tour officials are expected to confirm details for 2005 this Thursday.

This year’s race will begin in the Belgian city of Liege while other cities reported to be interested in staging the start of the Tour include Rotterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands, Herning in Denmark, Quebec in Canada and Lugano in Swizterland.

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