Racing News

Surrey to launch bid to host Tour de France after Olympic success

Surrey County Council is planning a bid to host a stage of the Tour de France following Team GB’s Olympic success on the county’s roads.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined Surrey’s streets to watch the Olympic road races and time trials

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the roads to watch Bradley Wiggins win gold in the men’s time trial to end a programme of racing which also saw the road races and women’s time trial also take place on Surrey’s streets.

And now the county is set to capitalise on the cycling fever that has gripped the nation by launching a bid to bring the world’s biggest race to these shores.

“Surrey has been the epicentre of world cycling over the past few days, cementing the county’s reputation as a world class place to ride,” said Surrey County Council leader David Hodge.

“We’re looking at putting together a bid to host a stage of the Tour de France to build on the success of the Olympic cycle races.”

The United Kingdom last hosted the Tour de France in 2007, with a prologue in London followed by a road stage from the capital to Canterbury.

And the Tour is set to be back sooner rather than later, with race director Christian Prudhomme hinting at a return after Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, while delegations from Yorkshire and Edinburgh are both planning bids to host the race.

Staging the Surrey sections of the Olympic road races and time trials required 42 miles of roadside barriers, 5,000 cones, 4,000 road signs, 545 road closures and an army of 6,000 stewards, volunteers and workers.

And Hodge paid tribute to the role of the fans in helping Wiggins to gold and Lizzie Armitstead to silver in the women’s road race.

“We’ve had huge crowds supporting the Olympic cyclists in recent days. People have been fantastic and showed their enthusiasm for the sport,” he added.

“I’m delighted that by hosting these events Surrey played its part in helping Team GB’s medal winners create Olympic history on our doorsteps.”

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