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The Tour de France 2017 is being worked on already: the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf (Germany)?

Added: tuesday 24 November 2015 at 21:24:00
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    The Tour de France 2017 is being worked on already: the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf (Germany)?It was the news of the day on Monday 28 September: London had said "no" to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017! We knew that there were different candidates in Germany and the city Düsseldorf voted a bit less than 3 weeks ago for the organisation of the Grand Départ of the 104th edition of the Grande Boucle.

    The official announcement of the location of the Grand Départ has still not been done however, but that's quite normal, for 2016 the Grand Départ in the Manche department was only announced on 24 November as well.

    Other cities are willing to organise this same Grand Départ ... or one of the next ones!

    The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017 in Düsseldorf (Germany)?

    This is the most serious rumour: a Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017 in Düsseldorf in Germany.

    Indeed, on the day of the official presentation of the Tour de France 2016, Christian Prudhomme - the director of the Tour de France - indicated in an interview with the German press agency DPA that he's a big fan of a possible start in Germany: Germany is an important country in Europe, with lots of enthusiasm. We're working with several cities on a comeback in Germany, and I hope that this will become reality.

    The last time the Tour de France went to Germany was in 2005 when the race had a stage finish in Karlsruhe (coming from Lunéville in France and with the victory of Robbie McEwen) and a stage start in Pforzheim (towards Gérardmer where Pieter Weening won the stage). For the Grand Départ, we have to go back further in time. Indeed, Germany had 3 Grands Départs of the Tour de France, the last one being in 1987, in Berlin (prologue, one stage in line and one team time trial, all starting and finishing in Berlin! The three next stages also mainly took place in Germany). Before Berlin it was Frankfurt in 1980 (even better with a prologue in Frankfurt, a Frankfurt > Wiesbaden stage and a stage between the same two cities in the opposite direction and finally a stage between Frankfurt and Metz) and Cologne in 1965 (only the start of the first stage, towards Liège in Belgium) which organised the start of the Tour.

    We knew that, for the upcoming years, there were several real serious candidates in Germany, but mid September, the city council of Münster voted against it. The initiative of the Mayor, Markus Lewe, thus was put to a halt immediately, mainly for financial reasons.

    All eyes were thus turned towards Düsseldorf when the city council was invited to vote on the same question on Thursday 5 November. Despite the campaign of the mayor, Thomas Geisel, with the support from riders like André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Soudal) and Ruben Zepuntke (Cannondale-Garmin), a positive vote was not quite sure yet because the Free Democratic Party or Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) already announced they would vote against it while this is one of the member parties of the leading coalition in the seventh biggest city of Germany.

    And the suspense went on until the end because finally the vote by the 79 members of the city council took place as a secret vote (as requested by the Social Democratic Party of Germany or Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands [SPD]) after a very long debate, mainly around the cost associated to the event. Finally the "yes" vote won it from the "no" vote but ... it was quite close! Indeed, there were 40 "yes" votes for 39 "no" votes!! This thus made Düsseldorf officially a candidate city for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017.

    The costs of this Grand Départ are estimated by Deloitte at 11.09 million euros of which 6.2 million euros would have to be paid by the city (for a prologue and the start of the first stage in Düsseldorf), for a benefit reinjected in the local economy of 57 million euros and a media valorisation of 30 million euros! Even though it's thus theoretically a definitive good deal, it'll not be the city itself which will directly benefit from these revenues for the local economy and after the vote, the leaders of SPD and of the Green party, Markus Raub and Norbert Czerwinski thus immediately added that this vote for officially being a candidate will not yet give the mayor the right to engage any spendings for the organisation of the event.

    It's important to mention that Düsseldorf's wish to organise the Grand Départ initially concerned 2018 but now London has abandoned its project, the German city (maybe motivated by A.S.O. to do so) has decided to move forward their candidacy and thus be a candidate right from 2017 ...

    Other candidates

    Apart from Düsseldorf in Germany, there are some other candidates of course, but they don't seem to have equal chances ...

    The Vienne department with the Futuroscope for its 30 years

    While the Vienne department didn't manage to secure a Tour de France 2016 stage start or finish (even though it comes quite close with a finish in Angers, start in Saumur and finish and start in Limoges), France Bleu indicated on the day the 2016 Tour was officially presented that the majority of the "Conseil départemental" of the Vienne department agreed on being an official candidate for ASO on Monday 19 October (the day before the presentation of the Tour de France 2016 race route). The radio station also said that this would be an event at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Futuroscope, which was managed by ASO between 2000 and 2002 before it was bought back by the Conseil général of the Vienne department after some important financial losses. Coming back to the Futuroscope would bring the Tour de France back to the Vienne department for the first time since 2000 when the Grand Départ also took place at the Futuroscope! (the Vienne department had the prologue at Futuroscope, a stage in line Futuroscope > Loudun and a start in Loudun towards Nantes that year)
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    Bruno Belin, president of the Conseil départemental of the Vienne department, source: France Bleu

    A part from the fact that A.S.O. does not necessarily have good memories of this park (due to the financial losses), Christian Prudhomme also reminds us of the fact that it's a bit short day for 2017 but also that it's very difficult for us to say that a candidate necessarily is for a specific year", thus reminding us of the fact that a candidate can maximise its chances by not chosing a particular year because it might be difficult for A.S.O. to consider it depending on its other obligations and plans ...
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    source: France Bleu

    The area around Brest and the "ribinous" of the Tro Bro Léon

    In September already, Le Télégramme announced that the area around Brest wanted to see the Tour de France come back in 2017 or 2018, with for example a stage start on the presqu'isle of Crozon and a finish in Brest with a visit of the "ribinoù" (sand paths) in the Abers area.

    A project which was brought up by Christian Calvez, the president of the federation of municipalities of the Pays des Abers, which obtained an approval from the 6 other presidents of the federations of municipalities around Brest who all agreed. On 10 November, Le Télégramme and Ouest France confirmed that the area around Brest was ready to file its proposal at A.S.O.

    Since that time, several media indicate that the area around Brest would be willing to organise the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017, but from what I read, I understand that this is more as a simple candidate for a stage, even though it's original with the ribinous, but not for a Grand Départ!

    In the same way, we know that there are candidates like the province of Limbourg or the province of Gelderland (Arnhem, Nijmegen) in The Netherlands, of Cambrai in the Nord department of France (after a stage start in 2004 and 2010 and a stage finish in 2015) or for example of Romans, Metz/Nancy and Cholet ...

    And after 2017?

    As for what's being planned for after 2017, we already announced in 2014 a possible Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2019 in Brussels in Belgium and according to the Danish broadcaster TV2, Denmark would be a candidate for 2018 for a prologue in the center of Copenhague and the two first stage, one from Roskilde to Odense via the Great Belt (Storebælt) and the last one between Vejle and Sønderborg.

    Christian Prudhomme is said to meet with the Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, this month and Denmark would be a candidate for 2019 or 2020 as well if they are not selected for 2018 ...

    source photo illustation article: Craebby Crabbson, creative commons

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2017 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 13 comments!
  1. Difficile de voir où ce tracé va nous mener. La logique voudrait qu'on aille plutôt vers le Sud (Metz, puis les Vosges), mais les candidatures se multiplient et semblent nous orienter un départ vers le Nord et l'Ouest (Pays Bas, Nord puis Bretagne) alors que ce tracé serait beaucoup plus logique après un départ du Danemark.

    | Freddy | tuesday 24 November 2015 at 23:57:52

  2. Attention, j'ai toujours en mémoire la petite phrase de Yann Cucherat (l'adjoint aux Sports à la mairie de Lyon) qui affirmais sur la ligne d'arrivée de Valence sur le Tour "Etre présent pour voir comment se passait l'accueil du Tour, car c'est nécessaire si on veux un jour pouvoir accueillir un Grand Départ".

    Il n'a pas fait mention de date mais le projet doit être dans les cartons pour une année à venir.

    | Pti_lu69 | friday 27 November 2015 at 12:37:56

  3. Si ASO est passé outre les commémorations de Verdun pour 2016, comment pourrait elle négliger celles de la fin de la Grande Guerre en 2018 ??? Un grand départ d'Alsace ou de Lorraine serait un formidable hommage à ces régions rattachées à la France en 2018. Oui mais voilà, si un départ de Düsseldorf en 2017 venait à se confirmer, y aurait-il 2 grands départs consécutifs géographiquement assez proches ??

    Brest se dit intéressé par un passage du Tour pour 2017 ou 2018. En cas de départ de Düsseldorf, et en respectant l'alternance des massifs, ce serait plutôt donc 2017. Quimper et Landernau sont demandeurs également.

    | Stephane75 | saturday 28 November 2015 at 11:39:27

  4. et toujours pas de grand départ d'Italie ?

    | NicoG | wednesday 02 December 2015 at 11:09:24

  5. La BBC vient de reveler le trace des 3 premieres etapes qui etaient censees se derouler a Londres et SE de l'Angleterre pour le grand depart en 2017...

    | Fabulous Fab | thursday 17 December 2015 at 17:33:48

  6. Lascaux (Dordogne) candidate pour une arrivée du Tour :

    | Stephane75 | friday 18 December 2015 at 15:42:46

  7. Bon, c'est officiel maintenant pour Dusseldorf.

    Et en 2018, le Danemark ?

    | Gillou | tuesday 22 December 2015 at 12:16:23

  8. Vittel candidate pour une étape

    | Stephane75 | sunday 10 January 2016 at 16:30:19

  9. #3 Stéphane75
    - Pas d'inquiétude car Düsseldorf est quand même à 400 Km de l'Alsace-Lorraine. De plus, c'est en Allemagne et cela n'a rien à voir avec un départ en France dans 2 villes proches 2 années consécutives.
    - je ne comprends pas bien le raisonnement : en 2017, il devrait y avoir Alpes avant les Pyrénées (je ne vois pas ASO proposer Pyrénées avant Alpes 3 années de suite). Donc caser Brest en fin de Tour me semble difficile et osons le dire, complètement idiot. Donc Brest en 2018 plutôt avec un départ en Alsace Lorraine et une grande traversée plein ouest, via le sud ou le Nord de paris.
    Le modèle serait le Tour 2006.

    | fourchecaudine | thursday 03 March 2016 at 13:47:11

  10. Le danemark! Bientôt le tour de France partira de Moscou. Y a un moment où faudrait arrêter le délire.

    | Fabrice | friday 15 July 2016 at 16:08:23

  11. Il prépare le tour d'Europe pour le spectacle! De toute façon d'où ils partiront se seront toujours les Sky à l'arrivée. Si l'on veut revoir un peu de spectacle et de bataille entre les équipes il ne faudrait pas inviter des grosses équipes comme cela qui neutralisent et tue la course!

    | MAYA | sunday 24 July 2016 at 9:13:38

  12. Un grand départ du Tour 2019 est évoqué à Bruxelles, pour marquer les 50 ans de la 1ere victoire de Merckx sur le Tour. Je sais que les négociations sont tendues car il semble que Merckx ne soit pas 'demandeur'... A suivre.

    | White Spirit | monday 25 July 2016 at 8:33:51

  13. Effectivement,étant vittellois,VITTEL, marque officielle du Tour de France pour son eau minérale connue et reconnue mondialement, a accueilli plusieurs fois le Tour, la dernière étant en 2009. VITTEL par la voix de son maire actuel, Mr Jean-Jacques GAULTIER, est candidate officiellement comme ville étape pour 2017. Selon le tracé 2017, VITTEL n'y figure pas, faut-il attendre une défection d'une autre ville ou autre décision de ASO et de Mr Christian PRUDHOMME? L'avenir nous le dira. Merci de votre attention. Ceci vient en réponse à Stéphane 75 dimanche 10 janvier 2016 à 16h30mn19s Commentaire n°8.

    | DORGET Jean-Pierre | monday 25 July 2016 at 12:04:27

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