For the Tour de France Grand Depart holding in 2019, it seems like Brussels is the only city left out of the cities who have stated their ambition of hosting the competition publicly.
In the run-up for the host of the Tour, Portsmouth and Copenhagen have all pulled out of the race to host the event. This has thus seemed to pave the way for the start of the competition to be awarded to France in 2019.
The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen withdrew their ambition to host the 2019 race and instead will focus on the Grande Boucle, so as to secure the beginning of the event in one of the following two years.
Every alternate year, the Tour prefers having a home start, which makes the year 2021 most likely.
Also, Portsmouth has withdrawn their candidacy for the event in 2019, and now hopes that before 2025, the Tour would have arrived England’s south coast.
What this means essentially is that Brussels, the capital city of Belgium is the city with the only public bid still in the running to host the event. It is however still likely that somewhere, there could be a bid not in the public domain.
2019 will mark 50 years since a first Tour win by Eddy Merckx’s. Hosting a Grand Depart in the same year would be a fitting commemoration of such a milestone.
On ten different occasions, Brussels has staged the tour. However, the last time they hosted the start was since 1958. The race last visited Brussels in 2010 where the stage one was won by Alessandro Petacchi, with stage two also beginning there as well.
According to British Cycling, four regions in the UK had expressed serious intentions of hosting a “major cycling event like the Grand Depart.