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Sports

Tour de France to start in Düsseldorf in 2017

The 2017 Tour de France is to start in Düsseldorf. This will be the fourth time that the world's most prestigious cycling race has begun in Germany.

The organizers of the Tour de France, ASO, announced on Tuesday that the western German city of Düsseldorf would host the 'Grand Depart' of the 2017 edition of the event.

The capital of Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westfalia, will become the country's fourth city to host the start, after Cologne in 1965, Frankfurt in 1980 and West Berlin in 1987.

This comes despite concerns from some local politicians about the estimated six million euros ($6.5 million) that it will cost to host the Grand Depart. Back in November Düsseldorf's city council passed a resolution to apply to host the start of the Tour in a vote of 40-39. London had previously applied, but later pulled out of the race.

The 104th edition of the Tour is to spend a full weekend in Düsseldorf in 2017, starting with the presentation of the teams on the Friday, the Grand Depart on the Saturday and the start of the race's second stage on the Sunday.

pfd/jil (SID, dpa)