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Utrecht chosen for start of 2015 Tour de France

November 8, 2013

UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) — Utrecht will host the start of the 2015 Tour de France, making it the sixth city in this cycling-mad country to stage the “Grand Depart” of cycling’s marquee race.

The city said in a statement on Friday it was “extremely happy with this enormous economic, cultural and tourism impulse.”

Details of the opening stage of the race will be revealed on Nov. 28, Tour organizers say on the race website.

Amsterdam was the first Dutch city to host the Tour’s opening, in 1954. Since then, the race also has started in Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978), ’s-Hertogenbosch (1996) and Rotterdam (2010).

Cycling is a popular sport and means of transport in the Netherlands, but only two Dutch riders have won the Tour: Jan Janssen in 1968 and Joop Zoetemelk in 1980.

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