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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.