PORTSMOUTH’S bid to stage the Tour de France shouldn’t be affected by Yorkshire being chosen to stage the 2019 Road World Championships, insists the city’s head of culture.
Councillor Linda Symes believes the government will still strongly consider funding the bid to put on the Grand Depart in the same year as Yorkshire’s spectacle.
Yorkshire is to stage the world championships for the first time in this country since 1982 and only the fourth time in the event’s 95-year history.
With 12 races over a nine-day programme, the event is backed by £27m of public money, including a £15m investment in cycling facilities around the country.
Cllr Symes said: ‘One of the government’s main concerns is about getting people fit and bringing down obesity, and getting people active.
‘Just like the Olympics help to encourage people to join sport clubs and take up different sports, the Tour de France is another sporting attraction that young people might try and emulate.
‘Who doesn’t want to be the next Chris Froome?’
Portsmouth City Council has submitted a 32-page business dossier to the government’s department for culture, media and sport, in the hope it will award the region £2m for a formal bid to stage Le Tour.