Geraint Thomas celebrated Tour de France win with Cardiff homecoming last summer. Pic: Team Sky

Welsh Government Keen To Host A Grand Tour Stage – If The Price Is Right

The Welsh Government has confirmed “discussions are ongoing” to host one of Europe’s big three grand cycling tours.

The news comes in the wake of Geraint Thomas’ Tour De France win and Wales successfully hosting the start of the Tour of Britain earlier this month.

The Tour De France, Spain’s Vuelta a Espana and Italy’s Giro D’Italia are considered to be cycling’s big three events.

However, a decision on whether to make a bid is dependent on what economic and sporting benefits will be generated by hosting one of the races.

Asked whether there was a realistic possibility of Wales hosting one of cycling’s major tours, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “It would be fantastic for Wales to host a future Grand Tour.

“We have made contact with the owners of all three events to explore options and discussions are on-going.

It’s Time Wales Capitalised On The Cycling Boom And Hosted A Grand Tour Stage

“A final decision will depend on the level of investment required and the potential return on that investment, both for the economy and sporting landscape.”

Tourism Northern Ireland estimated that hosting the opening three days of the 2014 Giro D’Italia raked in almost £13m in added tourism spending to the region. Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise said the cost of staging the event was £4.2m.

While a report led by Leeds City Council in the wake of Yorkshire hosting the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour De France estimated the county benefited by £102m.

However, London reportedly turned down the opportunity to stage the 2017 Tour De France Grand Depart because the estimated £35m cost of hosting the event in the capital was too great.

Calls for Wales to welcome one of cycling’s big three have been intensifying following Thomas’ historic win in Paris and Wales’ success in hosting major sporting events.

Last month the Cardiff-born rider said he would like to see a tour stage held in Wales. “I’ve heard some rumours about that and it would be great if they could pull it off for sure. Hopefully it can happen.”

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