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The Tour de France is heading back to Holland in 2010.
Tour officials announced Thursday that the 2010 Tour will start in Rotterdam. More details will be provided in an official ceremony on Dec. 11 in the Dutch port city, officials said.
“Rotterdam is an important metropolitan area with assurance of success,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told AFP. “It’s doing everything so that people can get around on the bike. It’s in this spirit that the city wants the grand départ.”
The Dutch city was picked ahead of Utrecht, Holland, and Dusseldorf, Germany.
It will mark the third time since 2007 that the Tour has started beyond France. London hosted the hugely popular 2007 grand départ while the Tour was back on French soil for this year’s start. Next year’s edition kicks off in the principality of Monaco.
Rotterdam will mark the fifth time for a Dutch start to the French tour, with the last start coming in 1996 at ’s-Hertogenbosch with a 9km opening prologue won by Alex Zulle.