Tour de France organiser the Amaury Sport Organisation today confirmed it has awarded London the Grand Depart of the 2007 Tour de France.

Now official, London to get Tour de France start in 07

London mayor Ken Livingstone said:

"I am proud to announce that London has successfully bid to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July 2007. Hosting the first stage of the legendary French cycle race will raise the profile of cycling in the capital, attract visitors and promote the capital as a venue for international sporting events.

"Cycling in the capital is growing faster than anywhere else in Europe. I want London to become a world-class cycling city and Transport for London has increased investment in cycling from £5.5 million in 2000, to £24 million this year.

At a press conference held earlier today, Livingstone said the Grand Depart will generate revenue of £15m.

"We will see up to three million people lining the streets of London for the biggest cycling event,” said Livingstone.

"It gives London opportunity stage a major sport that we haven’t staged before in the run-up to the Olympics. We will learn a lot.”

Full details of the route will be unveiled on 9th February.

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