Tour de France 2014: After the success of the 'Tour de Britain', race director confirms Le Tour will return
An estimated six million-plus lined the streets to cheer on Chris Froome and Co as the UK bode farewell to this year's Tour, but it could return sooner than you think
The Tour de France may have finished it’s short stay in the United Kingdom barely 20 hours ago, but there is already talk that the prestigious cycling event will grace these shores once again sooner than you may think, such has been the success of the Yorkshire-to-London Grand Depart.
As Marcel Kittel clinched staged three victory to add to his opening day triumph, talks were already in place to bring the Tour de France back to the UK in a few years’ time, with Wales and the Lake District mentioned as potential bidders to stage the opening stages of the event.
Monday’s sprint finish on the Mall, with a backdrop of Buckingham Palace, was a sight to cherish on the scale of the Champs-Élysées that will bring the Tour to an end on 27 July.
And British cycling fans had packed the streets between Cambridge and London to get a glimpse of the Peloton, with more turning out to watch the second coming of Le Tour in Britain than attend all four professional football leagues in England each weekend.
Some had been waiting for up to six hours for the pack to flash past, with official estimates stating the turnout around the one million mark to add to the five million that graced the streets of Yorkshire over the weekend. And the confirmation from the race director Christian Prudhomme that the Tour will return to the UK was reason enough to celebrate, such has become the obsession with the leading road race in the world.
Following the conclusion of stage three, Prudhomme described this year’s Grand Depart as “beyond our wildest expectations”, and teased fans as he confirmed: “We will be back.”
Read more: Britain retains yellow jersey for sport-watching
Kittel triumphs in The Mall sprint finish
Thomas: Selfies are the new pain in the arse
With Le Tour set to visit the Netherlands next year, the spokesman of the Yorkshire section of the race has stated that the love affair between Britain and the Tour de France needs to continue in the years to come.
“There is a clamour for it to return,” said Andrew Denton. “The Tour is in the hearts of the people now and the people of Britain are in the heart of the Tour. Why not have it here again?”
It was the grandest sporting event to grace London since the 2012 Summer Olympics, and film director Danny Boyle – whose masterpiece of an opening ceremony got the Games off to an inspiring start – was on hand at the finish line on Monday and gave his seal of approval to Britain’s staging of the Tour.
“When you see it going through little villages, the turnout is like the torch going through,” said Boyle. “When you take sport out to people, people really want it.”
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Phil Hughes: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...