Tour de France in Scotland not a ‘priority’

Leeds hosted the Grand Depart in 2014

Leeds hosted the Grand Depart in 2014

Bringing the Tour de France to Scotland is not a “priority” and unlikely to happen in the next few years, says Scottish Cycling CEO Craig Burn.

The Grand Depart – the start of the world-famous road race – is often held outside France and took place in Leeds in 2014 and London seven years earlier.

But Burn would rather ensure the Women’s Tour of Scotland is here “indefinitely”.

“We had conversations with them before it went to Yorkshire,” Burn said.

“There’s a huge cost to that and it’s a one-off. If they are really interested and want to come to us and talk sensible sums, the door will always be open.

“However, I think there are other things we can do to inspire the nation and make good use of public and commercial money without chasing it.

“Tour de France is all fine and well but our focus will be around trying to embed the Women’s Tour and hopefully ensuring the Tour of Britain is part of Scotland going forward as well.”

The inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland ends in Edinburgh on Sunday and Burn is determined to build the event from a position of strength.

“There has been a lot of work behind the scenes for many years to bring a race like this here,” he said. “Hopefully we will make it even bigger and better.

“What’s really exciting is that it will be an annual event – if we can embed that it’s about how clubs, communities and businesses get involved. We have an opportunity to make something unique.”

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