Twitter reacts to London turning down 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart

The capital city initially beat bids from Edinburgh, Manchester and several German cities

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The Independent Online

The news of Transport for London's (TfL) decision to pull out of hosting the 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart has puzzled, pleased and provoked people in equal measure, according to social media.

London initially beat bids from Manchester, Edinburgh and other cities but last week, a day before contracts were meant to be signed, the transport authority turned down the opportunity. It is now believed that, rather than Britain, 2017's opening stage will be held in Germany.

The city's mayor Boris Johnson has taken responsibility for the decision to pull out, claiming it was entirely his call and that the event does not represent value for money.

"I'm afraid I have got to put my hands up here and say I took the decision not to go forward with it," Mr Johnson said. "You've got to take some tough decisions in government and I think 35m quid on a one-off event was just not worth it for London."

However, judging by the online reaction, not everyone is happy with the Mayor of London's call...

Not least Sadiq Khan, Labour's candidate for London's next mayoral election...

Others, however, see sense in the decision...

In any case, bidding, winning then rejecting the opportunity, hasn't gone down well...

Chris Froome, the Kenyan-born British cyclist who won this year's Tour, has also spoke of his disappointment that TfL has changed its mind.

"One of the big goals of the team is to inspire people to get out and get on their bikes," he told ITV News. "Having a race like the Tour de France coming to Britain would go so far to do that, so it is a big shame that we have missed out on it again."

In 2014, the Tour started in Yorkshire and was watched by crowds totalling 4.8m people in the UK. However, it seems as though we will have to wait some time before we see a Grand Depart on these shores again.

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