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Düsseldorf wins Grand Depart of 2017 Tour de France

German city benefits from London's last-minute withdrawal...

Düsseldorf in Germany will host the Grand Depart of the 2017 Tour de France, which was originally looking likely to start in London until Boris Johnson pulled the plug at the last moment due to funding concerns.

> Boris Johnson says he scrapped London's 2017 Tour bid

It will be the 22nd time the race has started outside France, and the fourth time it has begun in Germany, the last time being in 1987 when the Grand Depart was hosted in pre-unification West Berlin.

In a brief statement, race organisers ASO said full details would be revealed at press conferences held in both Paris and Düsseldorf on 21 January.

Last week ASO said it plans to pull the Tour de France and other races from the UCI WorldTour from 2017 due to a dispute over the governing body’s reform of the sport.

> ASO pulls Tour de France from UCI WorldTour

Instead, ASO is seeking to register its races as Hors-Categorie, which would mean that at most only 70 per cent of the top-flight teams would participate.

Unless that dispute is resolved in the next year or so, some of the sport’s biggest teams – and riders – could therefore be missing from the start line.

Simon has been news editor at 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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