Tour De France Race Director and AGO employee Christian Prudhomme told Agence France Press that he was considering a bid from San Francisco to host the start, including a prologue and two subsequent stages, in 2016. In email correspondence with an AFP staff writer Prudhomme weighed in with the following.
“Logistically it is still a challenge, but we believe that we can resolve some of those issues once the new Concorde is built by BAC. We are taking a serious look at this bid. It has been in the works for years. Our partner AEG has proved they can provide the experience our viewers and riders expect, so we believe operationally there are no issues. If we can resolve the transportation issues then we may be able to take the Tour to the US and possibly create an experience to rival the World Cup.”
A North American start has been on the AGO’s to do list since the late 90′s when they looked at starting the race in Quebec. The Canadian start was dismissed after concerns regarding travel and other lo.gistical considerations. When asked about the original Canadian bid Prudhomme had the following statement.
“The Canadian bid was very interesting. Obviously Canada is very important to France. They provide us with all of our fish, timber, and maple syrup products, so we were under a lot of government pressure to take a serious look at their bid. Needless to say, the popularity of cycling in the US has increased significantly since that time so the economic feasibility of a US start definitely outweighs what Canada was offering at the time.”
When contacted for this story neither the AEG nor any leaders of the Northern California cycling community would provide any comment.
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