2023 Tour de France rumoured to start in Bilbao in Spain
It will be only the second time in its history that the world's top cycling race has begun in the Basque Country that straddles France and Spain, after it started in San Sebastian in 1992
The 2023 Tour de France will start from the Basque city of Bilbao in Spain on July 1 that year, organisers said on Friday.
Speaking at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Tour director Christian Prudhomme kept the details vague, only saying that the 'Grand Depart' of the 2023 race will be a stage that starts and finishes in Bilbao.
It will be the second year in a row that the Tour de France starts outside France, with next year's race beginning in Copenhagen.
Bilbao's opening stage will also be the 25th time the 'Grand Depart' is hosted outside of France since the race's creation in 1903.
The Netherlands has held the first stage six times, one more than Belgium and two more than Germany. Italy is the only one of France's neighbours never to have hosted an opening stage.
It would be a first in the Spanish Basque Country for 31 years
The Spanish Basque Country has already hosted the Tour de France three times, the last dating back to 1992. The prologue which took place in San Sebastien was won by the Spaniard Miguel Indurain, future winner of the Tour.
As a reminder, this summer the Tour de France will start from Brest on June 26. On the program, a first stage of 187 km in Brittany to Landerneau. Despite the extremely tense health context due to the Covid-19 pandemic (Paris-Roubaix could be postponed), Christian Prudhomme assured a few days ago that the holding of the Grande Boucle was not threatened: “There is no there is no reason why the Tour de France does not start on June 26, said the boss of the Tour. Last year we were able to adapt, the Tour de France existed, we had an interesting competition, with audiences which were exactly the same in September as in July. “