Prudhomme: 'Corsica is now a real candidate'
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Prudhomme: 'Corsica is now a real candidate'

by Nick Mulder at 6:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France

The Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) hopes to make the 2013 Tour de France, the 100th edition of the event, a race that won’t soon be forgotten. In order to up the ante, the French press are speculating that this symbolic edition of the Tour will kick off in the Mediterranean on the island of Corsica, the only French region that hasn't been visited by the race.

“What we can say, however, is that there is now a real candidate [for 2013]; Corsica,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme said to the French paper Corse Matin. He spent several days last month reviewing the possibilities of holding the Grand Depart on the French island.

With any remote start logistical problems arise, especially those concerning the transportation of the Tour caravan. If the Tour were to start on the island, the vehicles and equipment would likely be moved using ferries, much like when the start of the 2007 Giro d’Italia was in Sardinia.

“Obviously there are logistical difficulties concerning what I call the permanence of a great start. But problems also arise elsewhere. Then there are specific difficulties, including the return to the mainland after Corsica, the transportation of the caravan that is the Tour. But we have not come to Corsica to find immediate answers to all of the questions,” he explained.

In regards to other potential candidates, Prudhomme wouldn’t elaborate, “2013 is close, but we still have time. We are not in a hurry. There are seven, eight candidates in line and I cannot tell you more because I have not visited them all. But we must not forget that the choice is not the same as the Olympics. The parcours of the Tour has demanding figures: 3500 km, three weeks, four weekends, the crossing of two dominant mountains, the flat stages, the races against the clock, and the arrival in Paris. There is a pattern to follow,” he added.

According to French paper L’ Equipe there are several other candidates for the start including Utrecht. The Dutch city was also in the race for the 2010 start, but lost to its neighboring city, Rotterdam. Other cities looking for a chance to host the Tour are Salzburg (Austria), Lugano (Switzerland) , Liege (Belgium), and furthest of them all, Tokyo (Japan). Scotland and Qatar are also hoping to bring cycling's biggest event to their country.


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