Rotterdam start for 2010 Tour de France

A great metropolis to provide "a new energy" for the Tour

The 2010 Tour de France will start from the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, organisers ASO announced today.

The Tour's 97th edition will start on July 3 and the route will be unveiled in Rotterdam on December 11, ASO said.

Rotterdam won the nod ahead of fellow Dutch city Utrecht while German city Dusseldorf had earlier expressed interest.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme told AFP: "Rotterdam is a great metropolis and (as the start venue) is sure to be a big popular success - it does all it can to enable people to get around by bike."

Prudhomme said it was in that spirit that the port, whose slogan was "a new energy" for the Tour, had been chosen.

The Tour has previously started from the Netherlands on four occasions - Amsterdam, which in 1954 became the first non-French starting point - Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978) and 's-Hertogenbosch (1996).

Next year's race will set off from Monaco.

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