Rotterdam and The Hague look to host the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2024 or 2025
The Dutch cities of Rotterdam and The Hague have put themselves in the running to co-host the Grand Départ of the 2024 or 2025 Tour de France.
If they were picked it would be the third time in 15 years that the Netherlands had hosted the Tour. Rotterdam wishes to be the host for the opening prologue with stage one being hosted around The Hague.
The race organiser, ASO, will visit the area to review the bid as it looks to make its decision. The bid is said to be costing more than 20 million Euros.
Rotterdam has hosted the Tour before back in 2010 when Fabian Cancellara stormed to victory in the opening prologue to take the yellow jersey.
The Hague has had the Tour before as well, albeit back in 1973 where another prologue took place with Joop Zoetemelk the rider who came out on top to pull on yellow.
The Netherlands has hosted the Tour a total of six times with the capital of Amsterdam being the first to do so back in 1954. Scheveningen, Leiden, Den Bosch, Rotterdam and Utrecht followed over the next few decades.
Utrecht was meant to host the start of the Vuelta a España last year but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was unable to do so meaning the Spanish Grand Tour was cut down to 18 stages instead of the usual 21. The Dutch city has had to request to host again in the coming years.
Rotterdam is also wanting to be the finish location for the final stage of the women’s Tour de France, or Tour Féminin, in 2023.
It is not yet fully clear that the race is, in fact, coming back to the women’s calendar, but plans do look to be going ahead to hold the race in 2022.
The Tour de France will start in the Bretagne city of Brest in 2021 with Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, holding the event in 2022 for what will likely be a sprint fest.
The Grand Départ in 2023 will also be held abroad, on that occasion by Bilbao in the Basque Country of Spain. This, if the Vuelta’s opening stages of 2020 are anything to go by, is not likely to be a very sprinter-friendly start to three weeks of racing.