The interest in hosting the start of one of the three grand tours appears to be at an all-time high in Belgium and the Netherlands. Following the recent announcement that the 2015 Tour de France will start in Utrecht and that Antwerpen is bidding to host the 2020 Grand Depart, De Stentor reports that the Dutch city of Breda hopes to host the start of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana.
The three grand tours have all started in the Benelux countries in the past but nothing suggests that the interest for the three-week races have dampened in the area. Recently, several cities have shown interest in hosting the start of one of cycling's major races and yesterday it emerged that another city has put its hand up to kick off one of the grand tours.
A few days ago, it was announced that the Dutch city of Utrecht will host the start of the 2015 Tour de France and earlier this week, it emerged that the Belgian city of Antwerp would like to kick off the 2020 edition of the world's biggest bike race in the 100th anniversary of the 1920 Olympics which were held in the city. De Stentor has now reported that the Dutch city of Breda has set its sights on the 2016 Vuelta a Espana.
The city had originally intentions of attracting the 2016 Tour but with the decision to let the 2015 race start in Utrecht, Breda officials have realized that this project is now impossible. Instead, they have set their sights on the Spanish grand tour and has been working on the project for some time.
The Vuelta started in the Netherlands in 2009 when the race kicked off with a prologue in Assen. Earlier this year, Vuelta race director said that the Netherlands had a 99,9% chance of hosting the 2015 start but in May, the organizing committee in the Dutch region of Drenthe received a written notification that the plans had been cancelled without being given any further explanation.
In October, Tuttosport reported that the Italian city of Turin hopes to host the 2015 start, thus becoming the third foreign city to kick off the Spanish grand tour. Two consecutive foreign starts are, however, unlikely and so it appears that at most one of the Italian and Dutch bids can be successful.
At the end of this year's race, it was revealed that the 2014 edition will start in Jerez with the province of Cadiz hosting the first three stages.
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