London pulls out of 2017 Tour de France start

Giant-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel of Germany crosses the line in first place at the end of stage three of the 2014 Tour de France in London on July 7, 2014
London turns down the chance to host the Tour de France's Grand Depart in 2017.

London has declined the chance to host the start of the 2017 Tour de France due to financial reasons.

The English capital was awarded the rights to stage the Grand Depart after beating off competition from Edinburgh, Manchester and several German regions.

However, it has emerged that Transport for London (TfL) withdrew its interest prior to the contracts being formally signed last week.

Leon Daniels, the managing director of Tfl, told BBC Sport: "To ensure value for money we must make difficult choices. We have always said that the return of the Tour was subject to funding."

London hosted the opening stage of the world famous cycling event in 2007 and also the finish of the Tour's third stage last year.

Great Britain's Christopher Froome celebrates his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 159.5 km third stage of the 102nd edition of the Tour de France cycling race on July 6, 2015
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