Cycling: Triumphs of 2012 could bring Le Tour back to UK

Confidence increases in bid to hold four stages of the 2014 Tour de France across Britain

glasgow

Organisers of an ambitious bid to host four stages of the Tour de France across Britain in 2014 expect to discover before Christmas whether they have been successful.

There is increasing confidence among the bid's backers that Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the owners of the Tour, will favour the race returning to Britain in the wake of Bradley Wiggins's triumph this year, the extraordinary growth of cycling in Britain and the success of the Olympics.

The sight of huge crowds at both the road races and time trials during the London Games made a positive impression on ASO, as did the numbers who watched the torch relay across the country.

The plan is to launch the race with an opening stage – which will be a road stage rather than the traditional prologue – beginning in front of Edinburgh Castle. Day one would finish either in the Scottish Borders or in the North-east of England. The second stage would take the race across the country for a third held in Wales, which would feature a number of climbs, with the final one sweeping across the South-east of England.

"The planned route would pass within one hour of 50 per cent of the population," said Jonny Clay, a director of British Cycling, who is part of the bid alongside Event- Scotland, the Scottish and Welsh governments, Visit Britain and UK Sport.

A Yorkshire bid, mounted by Welcome to Yorkshire and other local bodies, is also on the table, thought to include two stages in the county and a third in the South-east of England. The Yorkshire bid has resisted attempts to discuss a joint venture. Having two British bids is described as "daft" by Clay, although he added that "we respect their right to go after a commercial property".

"If Yorkshire come through and win this, great," said Clay. "From British Cycling's perspective it's just good that [the Tour] is coming. We're backing what we think is the best bid."

A Scottish-based bid has been in the planning stages for five years, gradually evolving to include this bold British plan. Originally the aim was to bring the Tour to Scotland in 2016 or 2017, but the success of Team Sky and the explosion of interest in this country saw ASO themselves encourage the British bid to bring their plans forward.

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour, visited Edinburgh last year, and this summer Tour officials were driven around the entirety of the proposed route. The feedback received by British Cycling is described as positive.

The cost of bringing the Tour to this country for four stages is estimated at £10 million, much of which will be public money from Scotland, Wales and UK Sport, who fund elite sport in the UK and last week launched a programme designed to attract major sporting events to Britain to build on the successes of the Olympics.

Part of the appeal of a British tour to ASO is that the financial climate across much of the rest of Europe makes bidding from the likes of Spain difficult. Britain's recently developed reputation of hosting sporting events and doing so financially successfully has not gone unnoticed. Nor has the number of spectators who turn out – the torch relay's 70-day pilgrimage around the country accompanied by vast numbers of onlookers made an impression.

The Tour was last in Britain in 2007 and drew good crowds then. Organisers expect to hear informally at least by Christmas whether the British bid has won, with a deal to be signed in the new year. As with any sporting bid it remains a fluid situation until the very last – London were never expected to beat Paris to win the 2012 Games – and were Britain not to win the 2014 bid, it would come back to the table. The following year is a strong possibility should 2014 go elsewhere.

Organisers remain coy over the proposed route, but it is likely to include a couple of sprint finishes, almost certainly on the opening stage, and in Wales "something that makes a bit of a mess" of the peloton. It is the national spread of the bid that has earned the support of British Cycling and UK Sport. Cycling has grown in popularity hugely across the country – Scottish Cycling have seen their membership rise by 67 per cent over the past three years. British Cycling membership has trebled since 2007.

Its bedrock is one simple factor – the success of Britain's elite riders, on road and track. It is on the other side of Scotland that the building blocks of the road to Rio are being put in place over this weekend within the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome .

After two gold medals on day one of the World Cup in Glasgow, yesterday's return was limited to a silver and a bronze. Jason Kenny's error saw him crash out of the keirin final, while Jess Varnish had to settle for runner-up in the sprint with her team-mate Becky James an encouraging third.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam