The 2023 Tour will leave Euskadi

The lehendakari Urkullu and the president of the Community of Iparralde and mayor of Baiona, Jean René Etchegaray have confirmed that the agreement is close. The specific location has not yet been set but they bet on Bilbao.

The lehendakari and the president of the Community of Iparralde and mayor of Baiona, Jean René Etchegaray, signed a Memorandum of cooperation in Vitoria that will consolidate bilateral relations and establish a common base. The latter announced that in 2023 the Tour will depart from Euskadi. "Thanks to you, the Tour will leave here," he told the Basque president. It was the second meeting, after another last March. "We are in the initial phases of what is the disposition on the part of the Basque Government, transmitted to the organization of the Tour and trying to involve the rest of Basque institutions for what could be that great exit, it remains to define the location of the same and the development of the stages, we are moving forward in the talks ", the lehendakari has detailed. The bet of Ajuria Enea is clearly Bilbao. The so-called Grand Départ is one of the most juicy and appreciated candies in the world of two wheels. In the 2018 edition there was already a time trial in Espelette, in Iparralde (French Basque Country) .

The two politicians confirmed that the arrival of the Tour is "very close" and "almost closed" after negotiations that have long been keeping Basque authorities and galas with the organization of the French round. This joint initiative is framed in the alliance that both leaders are forging and that has been concretized with the signing of a pact, the first institutional between the two communities, of understanding that seeks to "strengthen collaboration" in different areas such as Basque culture and Euskera, rail transport or migratory flows. It has a symbolic content act. It is not clear if the gala round will also cover the route through the area of Iparralde (French Basque Country), although there is hope that it will be so. "The agreement opens important perspectives. We are very interested because we are a Basque country," Etchegaray proclaimed after defending the need to "overcome mental borders."

The Mayor of Baiona noted that the French round is opening the international range when raising the curtain. This year he decided that the first stage would start from Brussels and after the parenthesis of 2020 (in Nice), in 2021 he has chosen Copenhagen as his origin. Euskadi lives a delicate moment in terms of cycling, with the recent disappearance of the Murias Continental Pro category. The Euskadi Foundation, which will ascend to that second step, has remained the only reference. With the current government of Urkullu, he has opted for the big events to sell the country: World Cup, game with an NBA team such as the Sixers, the finals of the main European rugby competitions, the MTV party ...

The Tour has visited Euskadi 43 times since 1906. Of these, 23 before World War I. A total of 40 stages have been completed in Basque cities: 30 in Baiona, three in Hendaia, two in Donostia and Biarritz and one in Pamplona, Vitoria and Hendaia. In 1992, Donostia hosted the prologue of the Tour, the first stage and the departure of the second, which ended already in Pau. There was an arrival in 1977. The first visit of the Tour was in 1906, to Baiona. It was a Toulouse-Baiona stage, with only 17 surviving cyclists. Trousselier arrived first, but the victory corresponded to the bearnés Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq, since Trousselier had been disqualified to 12 kilometers of goal to change of bike, something prohibited then.

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