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Race director hails "unbelievable" 3 days; Brailsford says "crazy" not to bring the race back...

Christian Prudhomme has said that the Tour de France will return to Great Britain following what he described as an “unbelievable” Grand Départ over the past three days.

Asked after the finish Stage 3 in London yesterday whether the race would come back, Prudhomme said: “Yes. The question is not if, but when, although I don't have the answer for the second part,” reports the BBC.

He went on: "Thank you. It was unbelievable, I just want to say again: merci beaucoup.

"It was incredible. It is going to be unforgettable, as the first time in London was just seven years ago,” added Prudhomme, who took over as race director from Jean-Marie Leblanc in 2007, the year the Tour first started in Britain.

"The Grand Depart in Yorkshire was amazing, it was emotional,” he added. “It was the same on Monday, 30km in Greater London and so many people, everyone with smiles on their faces, it was emotional.”

"What the British people have done is magnificent."

His words were echoed by Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford, who said: “With the level of popularity of the sport in this country at the minute, it would be crazy not to [bring the Tour back].

“We saw the Olympics in London and now this has been phenomenal. I think it’s a job well done.”

Yesterday’s stage from Cambridge once again brought big crowds out as the race headed down through Essex to the capital, with a late downpour failing to deter thousands of cycling fans and office workers from lining the city’s streets ahead of the finish on The Mall, won by Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel.

Edinburgh City Council has confirmed that it is planning to team up once again with Event Scotland to bid to host the start of the 2018 or 2019 Tour de France, having lost out to Welcome to Yorkshire for this year's Grand Depart.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.