Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organiser of the Tour de France, has announced that the Grand Départ for the 2020 edition of the ‘Grand Tour’ cycling event will be held in the French city of Nice.
Today’s (Monday’s) announcement continues ASO’s recent strategy for awarding hosting rights to the opening stages of the Tour de France and comes one day after the conclusion of this year’s Paris-Nice race. ASO currently alternates the Grand Départ year-on-year between a French destination and an overseas location.
Nice last hosted the Grand Départ in 1981, while the administrative centre of the Alpes-Maritimes department has welcomed the Tour as a whole on 36 times in the past.
Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, said: “Le Tour is the third biggest international sporting event and consequently ensures considerable economic benefits for our entire area. Seven years after welcoming the 100th edition in 2013 which attracted almost 100,000 spectators, this is a further step which strengthens my desire to make Nice an essential city for hosting major sporting events.
“As a result, we will have our heart set on offering optimal conditions to the organisers and teams. Nice boasts an exceptional playground for cyclists, from the Promenade des Anglais up to the high passes of the Mercantour national park.”
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, added: “The most recent editions of Paris-Nice have shown us that the variety of landscapes and relief in this region are conducive to suspense, attacking and a thrilling spectacle. This is exactly what we want in order to give the Tour de France 2020 a dynamic tone.”
Last year’s Tour de France began in the German city of Düsseldorf, while the Vendée department, which is located in France’s Pays de la Loire region, will host the 2018 Grand Départ. The event will head to the Belgian capital of Brussels in 2019.