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VN ticker: UK to bid for 2026 Tour de France grand départ, Pidcock shakes knee injury, Sevilla to race in 2022

Here's the news making the headlines on Tuesday, October 26.

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UK to bid for 2026 Tour de France grand départ

Funding for a bid to bring the Tour de France back to the UK in 2026 will be part of the national budget to be announced by the British government Wednesday.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the Tour de France grand départ is one of two bids for major sporting events — the other is for 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup — that will receive a portion of £30 million ($41.4 million) set aside by the government.

The Tour de France last visited the UK back in 2014 with the grand départ in Yorkshire, which would later spawn the Tour de Yorkshire — a race that has now not been held for two years. It also started in London in 2007, while two stages of the 1994 race were hosted in the UK.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the UK Government’s bid to bring the sport’s showpiece event back to these shores in 2026,” British Cycling CEO Brian Facer said. “The Tour de France will bring significant economic benefit and investment to our communities, rapturous crowds on the roadside, and a tangible legacy to get even more people riding more often throughout England, Scotland, and Wales.

“We now look forward to working alongside the UK Government, devolved administrations, and UK Sport to deliver a compelling vision for the 2026 Grand Depart, which aligns with the event organizer Amaury Sport Organization’s aspirations and builds on our proud track record of hosting the sport’s biggest global event.”

Tom Pidcock back in the saddle after shaking long-term knee injury

Multi-disciple maestro Tom Pidcock is back in the saddle after finally shaking a nagging case of tendonitis.

Pidcock, 22, made his grand tour debut at the Vuelta a España and punched into sixth at the road worlds this September, but has been tending to his ailing knee in the weeks since.

After carrying the tendon problem all year, Pidcock confirmed this week that a swathe of experts have ironed out the injury, that he’s back on the bike, and that he’s loving life.

“I’m back training and I can finally ride pain free in my knee, first time since February! It’s amazing how much you can appreciate being healthy when you’ve had an injury for so long,” he wrote on Instagram.

Pidcock also posted a three-hour road ride through Andorra’s mountains onto Strava, just to prove the point.

Pidcock will now be setting his sights on the ‘cross season.

The Brit has missed the opening rounds of the World Cup, but should his schedule remain similar to that outlined to VeloNews this summer, he will be racing in the mud by December with a view to hitting the ‘cross world championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas on top form.

Óscar Sevilla to race one more season

Spanish veteran Óscar Sevilla said he plans to race at least one more season.

Speaking to El Colombiano newspaper, the 45-year-old said he still wants to keep racing. His career started in the late 1990s, but was derailed in Europe when he was caught up in the Operación Puerto doping scandal. He’s since spent more than a decade racing in South America.

“I am taking it day by day,” he said. “I am no longer this ‘kid’ who was going to win this or that. I think more now about enjoying it, and I believe I can bring a lot more to the sport. I don’t want it to turn into something like a nightmare or obligation. The day I wake up and feel that I cannot give the same as before that’s when I will decide to retire.

“I know it’s now less than more, but I still want to race next year,” Sevilla said. “After that, we’ll see what happens.”

Sevilla has a contract for next season to race with Team Medellín in Colombia.