UK Sport is delighted with the decision to award the UK the rights to host the first stage of the 2007 Tour de France, one of the most high profile sporting events in the world.
John Scott, UK Sport’s International Director said:
"UK Sport is delighted to support the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which is not only an iconic cycling competition, but is also the largest and most popular annual spectator event in the sporting calendar.
"The British public will have the opportunity to watch in awe as 200 of the world’s elite cyclists start their campaign to win one of the toughest sporting competitions in the world."
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London and Chair of Transport for London, said:
"Hosting the first stage of the legendary French cycle race will raise the profile of cycling in the capital, attract visitors and promote the capital as a venue for international sporting events.
"Cycling in the capital is growing faster than anywhere else in Europe. I want London to become a world-class cycling city and Transport for London has increased investment in cycling from £5.5 million in 2000, to £24 million this year."
This is not the first time that the Tour de France has graced British shores; in 1974 Plymouth hosted a mid-race stage, with two stages being held in the UK in 1994.
Full details of the event, including the route for the race, will be unveiled on 9th February.