Transport for London has appointed Innovision and Sweetspot as a joint event management team to run next year's Grand Depart of the Tour de France from London.

TfL appoints two companies for London TdF

The stages through Kent and London on this year’s Tour of Britain – which started today in Glasgow – are a dry run for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2007.

Tour of Britain organiser Sweetspot will work with Innovision to deliver the host city requirements.

There had been a "rigorous selection process," said TfL. One of the bidders was Alan Rushton’s Sport for Television.

Innovision and Sweetspot will be charge of all aspects of the ASO-owned race during its time in London and Kent.

The race HQ and press centre will be at ExCeL London. The facility will include a 500 seat press centre, two conference rooms seating a total of 650 people, a Tour de France partner exhibition zone, and temporary offices for race officials. There will be an additional facility located at the Stage One finish in Canterbury incorporating a 500 seat press centre.

The opening ceremony takes place on Friday July 6th in Trafalgar Square.

The Prologue, on Saturday 7th July, is a 7.9km circuit taking in Whitehall, Parliament Square, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park, Constitution Hill and a finish in The Mall.

The first Stage is a 209km course starting in The Mall and taking in many London sights including the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bank of England, Tower Bridge and the Greenwich World Heritage site. The route proceeds through the Kent countryside passing through a number of historic urban centres before finishing in Canterbury with the Cathedral as a backdrop.

The race has visited the UK twice before in 1974 and 1994.

The Tour de France is the largest annual sporting event in the world. The event will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to London and the South East and is expected to bring more than £70m to the South East economy.

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