Tour de France 2013 likely to start in Corsica
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Tour de France 2013 likely to start in Corsica

by Shane Stokes at 4:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
History to be made in 100th edition of the race

Tour de FranceAfter repeated speculation that the 100th Tour de France would begin in Corsica, it appears more and more likely that history will indeed be made in 2013 with La Grande Boucle starting there. The island has never before hosted a stage of the event, and would make up for it with a three day stay costing two million Euro.

The Grand Depart, which has been reported as confirmed by Wielerland but not yet verified by race organisers ASO, will be a symbolic gesture as Corsica is the sole French département not to have been visited by the Tour. The island has had an at-times difficult and uneasy relationship with mainland France. Now the top governing body l’Assemblée de Corse has approved the start there, six months after ASO reportedly decided that it was on the cards.

According to Wielerland, the route could include famous towns such as Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Porto-Vecchio, and a chartered ship will be put on to transport the race back to mainland France once the stages there are completed.

ASO’s Criterium International was held there this year, and was regarded by many as a way for the Tour organisers to size up the island’s candidature. Speculation grew that the deal was as good as sealed when at the end of October, the mayor of the city of Porto-Vecchio said that he wanted to extend the agreement between ASO and the island until 2013, two years longer than initially proposed. The local paper Corse Matin reaffirmed then that the island wanted to host the race.

Next year’s Tour will begin in the Vendée region, with stage one running from the Passage du Gois to the Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers.

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