Livingstone, the Mayor of London, said:
"It would be fantastic honour for London’s historic landmarks to join those of France and its capital in forming the backdrop to one of the world’s greatest sporting events. We would guarantee the Tour de France one of most
spectacular Grand Departs."
Following the success of the Tour of Britain cycle race and recent Olympic cycling success, Transport for London believes that hosting the Grand Depart of the world’s most famous cycle race will further boost the number of
people cycling in London.
Peter Hendy, MD of Surface Transport, said:
"Cycling is booming in London with an increase of 23 percent in the past year alone. Bringing the Tour de France to London would provide further encouragement for Londoners to get on their bikes.
"Hosting the Tour de France would be an amazing privilege for London, and would provide further evidence of London’s suitability as a venue for world class events."
Whilst most commentators believe 2007 is the earliest London would win the rights to spend millions paying for a Grand Depart, Transport for London is not fixed on that date.
"The proposed route details and a suitable date to host the event are matters for further discussion with the Amaury Sport Organisation," said a statement from TfL.
The Amaury Sport Organisation owns the Tour de France.