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Edinburgh launches new bid to bring Tour de France to Scotland

City that lost out to Yorkshire for this year's Grand Depart aims to secure race in 2018 or 2019...

Edinburgh City Council has confirmed that it plans to submit a new bid to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France with hopes to stage the opening days of the race in 2018 or 2019.

The news was confirmed as this year’s race got under way in Yorkshire, whose successful bid beat off rivals including the Scottish capital.

The council’s deputy leader, Steve Cardownie, who was involved in Edinburgh’s previous bid, said that lessons from the Yorkshire Grand Départ would help in planning its new one, reports The Scotsman.

“We are looking at perhaps forming a bid with Event Scotland for either 2018 or 2019.

“We will be that much more equipped because we will have seen first-hand how it operates in Yorkshire. We’ve staged cycling events in the past, we’ve had athletic events and, of course, we have our fantastic festivals. We are always in the market for something new, something different.”

Unlike the Yorkshire bid, Edinburgh’s had the support of both British Cycling and UK Sport, and evolved from initial plans to hold two stages in Scotland into a three-day event that would have seen the race start in Scotland before heading to England and Wales.

He continued: “We were encouraged to bring that bid forward to 2014 and Yorkshire beat us to it.”

“When the organisers were last here, they were waxing lyrical about the city and they could see themselves that it’s good for the Tour. It’s not just good for Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh recently hosted a round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, having switched funding from the city’s Sky Ride, in line with a change in strategy ultimately aimed at securing the Grand Depart.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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