Officials in Barcelona are hoping to convince ASO that the Catalan city would be an ideal place to start the 2014 Tour de France.
The Spanish wire service EFE reported that Barcelona officials will make their pitch Thursday to Tour director Christian Prudhomme and ASO general director Yann Le Moenner.
EFE reported that Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu and sports commissioner Pere Alcober, who has been working on the project since the city hosted a stage during the 2009 Tour, will be making the official presentation. The plans call for an opening time trial and a start of the first road stage.
The Tour has started 18 times outside of France but only once in Spain, when San Sebastián hosted the “grand départ” in 1992.
Barcelona is the second foreign city already expressing interest in hosting the 101st edition of the French tour. Florence, Italy, has also promoted its candidacy, citing the city as the birthplace of Gino Bartali, who won the Tour in 1938 and 1948.
This year’s Tour will start in France while Liège, Belgium, will be the site of the start of the 2012 Tour.
There is speculation that the Mediterranean island of Corsica will be host of the start of the 2013 Tour for its 100th anniversary. Corsica is the only French province that has never hosted a Tour de France stage.
International interest in the Tour continues to draw potential departure candidates. Tour director Christian Prudhomme told VeloNews last year that the race organization has entertained proposals from as far as Asia, the Middle East and North America.
Officials in Scotland announced last month that they would like to host the start of the 2017 Tour in Glasgow or Edinburgh. Scotland will be hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as the Ryder Cup, two events that officials say will prove Scotland is up to the job of welcoming the Tour.