January 25, 2006 – Following months of speculation, the organizers of the Tour de France and Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, confirmed yesterday that the 2007 Tour de France will start in London, Britain’s capital.
Although no specifics of the route will be revealed prior to a joint press conference due to be held in London on February 9, Livingstone suggested that it will be similar to that described in the original bid document. Under the outline submitted, the capital would host a prologue based on The Mall and take in many of the famous landmarks there. A full road stage would then follow, running from London to the coast of Kent.
London was up against bids from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark and will pay Â£1.5 million to host the first two days of the Tour. Livingstone said that this was far less than would have been required to hold the proposed London Grand Prix Formula One event, and that he expected the Tour to generate a figure, up to ten times greater than the costs to secure the race.