Cycling: London start moves closer for the Tour

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The Independent Online

A step towards a third visit to England by the Tour de France will take place today when the race director, Jean Marie Leblanc, meets the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

A step towards a third visit to England by the Tour de France will take place today when the race director, Jean Marie Leblanc, meets the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

Livingstone and Leblanc are due to thrash out details of the city's bid for a Tour start in 2007. Leblanc said: "This is the first time we will see each other in person rather than simply exchanging letters. There is considerable interest in having the prologue of the Tour in the city centre of London."

Leblanc added: "We would consider it a majestic, spectacular event to start the Tour with, and it is one which we would feel honours the English and honours the race."

A Grand Depart in London would be the third time the race has visited England. The last time was in 1994, from a start in Dover castle to Brighton seafront and then on to a second stage round Portsmouth.

Alasdair Fotheringham writes for Cycling Weekly

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