Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) has announced the 2020 edition of its Grand Départ will be staged in the French city of Nice.
It will be only the second time that Nice will have hosted the opening stages of the French Grand Tour, having also done so in 1981.
The grand tour last visited Nice in 2013 after starting in Corsica, with the seaside resort providing the platform for that year’s team time trial stage.
The announcement continues ASO’s recent strategy for awarding hosting rights to the opening stages of the Tour de France. ASO currently alternates the Grand Départ year-on-year between a French destination and an overseas location.
Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, said: “Le Tour is the third biggest international sporting event and consequently ensures considerable economic benefits for our entire area. Seven years after welcoming the 100th edition in 2013 which attracted almost 100,000 spectators, this is a further step which strengthens my desire to make Nice an essential city for hosting major sporting events.
“As a result, we will have our heart set on offering optimal conditions to the organisers and teams. Nice boasts an exceptional playground for cyclists, from the Promenade des Anglais up to the high passes of the Mercantour national park.”
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, added: “The most recent editions of Paris-Nice have shown us that the variety of landscapes and relief in this region are conducive to suspense, attacking and a thrilling spectacle. This is exactly what we want in order to give the Tour de France 2020 a dynamic tone.”
The Vendée department, which is located in France’s Pays de la Loire region, will host the 2018 Grand Départ, while the event will be staged in the Belgian capital of Brussels in 2019.