THE leader of Portsmouth City Council remains optimistic the region can still stage the Tour de France - even if the 2019 bid fails to materialise.
Councillor Donna Jones says Le Tour sponsors are still interested in the prospect of cyclists riding along the beaches of Southsea and through the South Downs before taking on race legs in France.
When asked to put a percentage on Portsmouth’s chances of hosting the event’s Grand Depart, Cllr Jones said it was ‘50-50’.
Speaking to local radio, Cllr Jones said: ‘For the sponsors of Le Tour, they would like, I think, to have the cyclists going along the beautiful beaches of Southsea, to the South Downs and through the South Downs National Park would be amazing.
‘(The Tour bid) is 50-50, that’s why we are not spending any money locally on it at all.
‘However, there is lots we can do, and are doing to put Portsmouth on the map and make sure key decision makers know we are here.’