The Barcelona World Sailing Race, the European Athletics Championships, the World Swimming Championships and even the organisation of the Winter Olympic Games. These are among the many top events that have been establishing Barcelona as one of the world’s main sports capitals, though the new host bid is for a cycling event.
Having successfully hosted the sixth leg of the most iconic race in international cycling, the Tour de France, in 2009, Barcelona is now presenting its firm bid to host the epicentre of the race, that is, the Grand Départ or official start to the 2014 event.
Barcelona has no wish to have to wait another 44 years to see the world’s best cyclists passing through its streets again, and that is why it has now presented its bid to the director of the Tour, Christian Prudhomme, which he considers “magnificent“.
This is a bid about which the Mayor, Jordi Hereu, has insisted he feels “very hopeful“, a hope he aimed to justify through the Catalan tradition of cycling, the facilities the city enjoys and the multinational goodwill involved.
The decision will not be taken, however, until 2013, and Barcelona will have to compete with other European capitals such as Florence, Utrecht and Salzburg and, even big international capitals like Qatar.