Tour de France extends partnership with Human Race

Oliver Gill
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Le Tour de France 2015 - Stage Eleven
Chris Froome triumphed at the Tour de France in 2016 (Source: Getty)

Britain may have rejected hosting next year's Tour de France but that hasn't stopped the owners of the French race snapping up one of Britain's largest organisers of mass participation cycling races.

The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has paid millions of pounds for Surrey-based events company Human Race according sources close to the deal.

The news comes after Boris Johnson snubbed the ASO last September by turning down the opportunity for London to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2017. The then Mayor of London said that the £35m cost of hosting three stages of the annual event could not be justified and "sent out the wrong signals".

Read more: Boris: Tour de France costs better spent elsewhere

Human Race started its association with the ASO earlier this year by hosting a number cycle races in the UK together. In March, it was announced that two events would be run by Human Race using the ASO "L'Etape" brand – Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France and L’Etape London by Le Tour de France.

The deal, which is expected to be announced this week according to reports in The Sunday Times, is the latest stage in this partnership and will give the ASO access to a wide range of events that also include triathlon, open-water swimming and corporate challenges.

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Human Race was founded in 2010 by former IMG executive Nick Rusling with financial backers that included venture capital funds Epsilon Partners and Calculus Capital.

Frankfurt has stepped in to host the opening stages of next year's Tour de France. The rest of the route will be revealed on 18 October by race director Christian Prudhomme at ceremony in Paris.

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