Scotland is planning to bid to host the start of the 2017 Tour de France. After Dublin in 1998, London in 2007 and Corsica in 2013, it would mark the fourth time that the race had begun outside of mainland Europe.
Either Glasgow or Edinburgh would be the scene of a city-centre prologue, before a road stage that may potentially link the two cities. The chief executive of EventScotland, Paul Bush, explained that Scotland’s historical ties with France make it an ideal Tour host.
"We think the event is a natural fit for Scotland with the history of the Auld Alliance and we've already had three meetings with the race organisers about a possible bid,” Bush told the Scotsman.
"The event would have a huge impact if it was held here. The Tour would probably be based in the host city for up to a week before the first stage started and the impact on the economy would be huge."
The logistics of bringing the race from Scotland back to France have not yet been detailed, although it is thought that chartered trains may be employed. In 1998, the Tour convoy travelled by ferry from Cork to Roscoff overnight after the second stage, while a late start to the third stage to Lorient eliminated the need for the insertion of an early rest day. The 2010 Giro d’Italia, which began in Amsterdam, had a rest day just four days in to allow the convoy to travel to Italy.
It is understood that the Scottish Government will provide most of the £5 million required to host the event, which could yield as much as £100 million to the local economy.