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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 joined 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.

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