Scotland Cycling chief executive Nick Rennie said he hoped the Tour de France would soon come to Scotland after the country successfully hosted the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the first cycling championship of its kind in history, combining 13 disciplines with over 200 matches in the last two weeks.
It is widely regarded as the biggest cycling event in history, with over 500,000 fans in attendance and many describing it as a ‘celebration of the sport’. So after such glowing reviews, the next step, according to Rennie, is to bring the most prestigious event in cycling to the country.
He said: “There is a lot of talk which is hugely exciting – even something as huge as the Tour de France could be an option for a few stages. I hope the success of this massive event will further boost Scotland’s credibility as a fantastic place for cycling. events.
“This is the biggest event, but Scotland has a great heritage and track record of hosting World Championships and World Cups in cycling. It takes a long time to put the packages together and convince the decision-makers that they should go with Scotland.”
“Fingers crossed, I’m sure in the coming weeks we’ll hear some announcements,” he added, according to the BBC.
> UK Government confirms 2026 Tour de France Grand Départ bid
— 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships (@CyclingWorlds) August 13, 2023
Was Glasgow 2023 a success?
The event, which took place mainly in Glasgow but also in places such as Stirling and Glentress Forest, was the biggest championship to be held in one region at the same time, with more than 8,000 cyclists from 151 nations taking part and over 200 new champions. who is crowned with rainbow jerseys.
We asked road.cc readers how they felt about the championships on the live blog yesterday, and the responses were glowingly positive — including calling it a “huge success” and a “fantastic experience.”
And while Rennie said he hoped to bring the Tour de France to Scottish soil, for Michael Matthews, a peloton veteran from Down Under, that world already felt like one.
> ‘It was like the Tour de France’: Were Scotland’s world championships a success? We ask riders, fans and locals
“It was really special. Obviously the UK has huge cycling fans. But I honestly didn’t expect this. The road race was like being in the Tour de France or Belgium or Holland, where the cyclists are gods.” rider Jayco AlUla told road.cc.
He added: “We were treated to a very special race. Everyone was cracking up when we got on the circuit. Even before the track, in all the towns, you could see the guys were really enjoying us going through.
“You could feel the love, and that’s really special. With the amount of negative stuff you see on social media these days – and you try to gloss over it obviously – but once the race started, having the fans cheer us on made the race even more special than just another world championship”.
And not just Matthews, the sentiment was echoed by road.cc writer Ryan Mallon, who was present at the Championship: “Just walking around Glasgow, surrounded by banners advertising French construction companies and giant inflatable bowls of fruit, there is a palpable sense, from this writer’s point of view anyway, that cycling has taken over Scotland’s biggest city.’
> ‘A few corners too many’: Riders hit back at claims Glasgow City Circuit was a ‘death race’ and ‘designed in a pub’ after Mathieu van der Poel won epic battle
Visions of a Scottish Grand Depart in 2026
If it does happen, it wouldn’t be the first time Britain has hosted Le Tour. It has previously hosted stages from the 1994 Tour of Dover to Brighton and Portsmouth to mark the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
The circuit returned to London for the opening day’s time trial in 2007 and headed to Canterbury the following day, before hosting another Grand Départ in Leeds and the next two stages in Yorkshire.
For next year, it has been confirmed that the Tour de France will see its riders start from Florence in Italy’s Tuscany region, while Rotterdam or The Hague look set to host the Grand Départ in 2025. Meanwhile, Rotterdam will also host the Tour de France Femmes next year.
The inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships proved that uniting our sport is a recipe for a spectacular event.
Thanks to all the parties involved who brought this vision together. We are already looking forward to the 2027 UCI Cycling World Championships in Haute-Savoie 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/1P9qdyWfGA
— David Lappartient (@DLappartient) August 13, 2023
In 2021, it was reported that Britain would bid to host the 2026 Tour de France Grand Départ, with stages expected to be in England, Scotland and Wales and funding would come from the government to support the bid and to cover organization costs. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is making £30m of funding available to prepare bids to host the opening stages of the 2026 Tour de France and the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
It seems that UCI President David Lappartient’s vision of organizing cycling’s ‘mini-Olympics’ has been well and truly recognized in Glasgow. While the next edition – supposed to take place every four years, the year before the Olympics – will be in Haute-Savoie, France, Scotland looks set to host another cycling celebration, only this time, the winner won’t he would get the rainbow, but the yellow jersey.
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