Surrey County Council has revealed plans to host a stage of the Tour de France on the back of hosting the Olympic Games road race and time trials.

The bid would join those already in advanced stages from Yorkshire (2016) and Scotland (2017) to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

“Surrey has been the epicentre of world cycling over the past few days, cementing the county’s reputation as a world class place to ride,” said David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council.

“We’re looking at putting together a bid to host a stage of the Tour de France to build on the success of the Olympic cycle races. In September, we’ll be welcoming elite cycling back to Surrey when we host a stage of the Tour of Britain.” 

According to Surrey County Council, infrastructure for the Olympic road race included 42 miles of roadside barriers, 5,000 cones, 4,000 road signs and 545 road closures. The organisation is hoping that it has more than adequately proven it can host an international-level cycling event.

The Tour de France last visited Britain in 2007, when the Grand Depart took place in London.

Since then, Britain has provided an overall winner of the race after Bradley Wiggins (Sky) swept the the win in July this year. The country is currently gripped with a new-found passion for cycle racing, with hundreds of thousands of fans packing the roadside for both the road and time trial events at the Olympics.

Related links



Yorkshire in formal bid to host Tour start



Scotland bids to host 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart

  • Keith Bingham

    We should welcome Surrey County Council’s wish to host a stage of Le Tour.
    And suggest to them that as well as hosting high profile events like the Olympics and Tour of Britain, they look to the grass roots sport, too and crucially, involve the local communities. This is key to gaining a better understanding among the public when it comes to running local road races.
    So, family cycling events, and perhaps a council promoted race for locals – two miles, say – incorporated
    into local race programme, would be a good start. Heats in the villages, a final in Guildford.
    Farmers could provide car parking on fields for a fee. The Women’s Institute or Rotary Clubs provide
    refreshments, again for a fee. It’s been done before, and very successfully, by Dave Orford when organising
    an international world cup TT for veterans in Derbyshire.

    Bingers

  • john

    Agree with Dave’s comments on the Road surfaces. While Box Hills new road surface is brilliant, for le Tour (Tour de France) they regularly (read nearly every year) and Giro d’Italia resurface the roads. I do sportive events in both Italy (Maratona dles Dolomiti) and Etape and their roads are covered most of the winter by snow/ice but are in better conditions than all of our UK roads (except the newly resurfaced climb/descent of Box Hill). The road leading out of the venue is full of potholes, and our very own TDF champion and ITT gold medalist ‘Sir’ Bradley Wiggins said the surfaces of the Time Trial roads were not the best. So, while I love riding on the Surrey roads (for the scenery) I think the County Council needs to put some money aside to resurface the roads properly if they want to cash in on the success of our newest mainstream sport and hold the worlds greatest bike race.

    While I don’t race I also agree with the comments about local racing. I used to race but those were on closed roads where I grew up.

    I also think the local clubs missed a possible opportunity to hold amateur races on the days of the road races and ITT. Riding on closed roads to the Womens event on Sunday was a delight. I do think they could have held a 2-3 hr event for up and coming racers to encourage and inspire a generation.

    J

  • Jeremy Cordon Newby

    Britain is tops as far as elite cycle racing talent goes, Wiggo, Cav, Va Va Froome, Geraint, Ben Swift, Dave Millar, Adam Blythe to name but a few plus all the track cyclists. However, these road cyclists do most of their racing on the continent where the authoritties, the councils, the police et al “know how to do it”. Also they are expert at TV coverage both on the ground and in the air. The track cyclists do it right there, on the track, and it doesn’t really matter where that is. Just because the grand Depart a few years ago was a success for London, I wouldn’t count on continuing success just because of the Olympics. Frankly, cycle racing has a long way to go yet in the UK and there is a lot to learn. We may produce the talent, in fact we seem to be exceptionally good at that, but the organisation is seriously lacking and the will of authorities such as the police is pretty well non-existent. To find out “how to do it” go to France, Italy, or Spain for example. I know because I live and race there.

  • Paul Tunnell

    there is nothing more I would like to see than the TDF returning to Surrey, but given that LOCOG did most of the work, and the organistation was rather poor – no tim gaps, no publicity caravan, no roving loudspeakers,

    Only last week, a local race was stopped because Surrey residents objected to it passing along their roads!!!!

    Surrey will have to pull their socks up if they tghink they can pull it off.

    Good luck

  • TIM HART

    Sorry, but I’ve watched international cycling events throughout Europe, and unfortunately I’ve got to say my experience of Box Hill at the weekend was by far the worst I’ve ever experienced. Despite a test event, the organisation and spectator viewing was abysmal. Forget it now.

  • Dave

    Are Surrey County Council delusional? Sort the road surfaces out before you start claiming that Surrey is a ‘world class place to ride’. No it isn’t.

    A bit of education for the local drivers wouldn’t hurt either.

  • David Manley

    I’d much rather that we got the country organised and really enhanced the ToB. No reason that we couldn’t have a two week stage race that would sit nicely in fourth place behind the 3 grand tours and perhaps even rival the Vuelta in time.

    That our race is so far behind the Tours of California and Australia is a shame.

  • Mark Jones

    I agree with James and I know I keep banging on about it in every virtually comment but let’s sort things out. I read about the Surrey racing league incident and then read about that and feel we ought to sort out the grass roots first before aiming so high. We have very limited opportunities for racing, only one UCI 1.2 race and no World Tour events. When we have a Tour of Britain where the route isn’t dictated by councils, a Premier Calendar that is growing isn’t of becoming smaller each year, some regular 1-3 day UCI races that are not constantly under threat from lack of sponsorship and from British Cycling, when the police work with races instead of against them, when we have a quality event in the World Tour and when there are opportunities at every level to race then we should be thinking about hosting stages of the Tour de France. British Cycling have the perfect opportunity to make things happen now, but I feel they’ll do nothing as usual and it will be left to individuals with ambition or indeed the Tour of Britain as they have done with the Tour Series. I’m sure more people would be members of British Cycling if they felt they were doing something valuable.

  • james

    This comes a week after the police basically bought a road race to a halt in Surrey… Let’s work on the grass roots first guys cause at the moment all this success feels a little hollow;

    Still cant race regularly safely, still have aggressive drivers, still no education for cycling and no apparent effort from BC apart from enjoying champagne with that Barry wiggins fella.