The Barcelona City Council has confirmed that it is working to host the start of the 2026 Tour de France. Negotiations are moving in the right direction after six years of talks and the organization considers the Catalan city as one of the most serious candidates. Barcelona thus redoubles its particular commitment to major sporting events after raising the curtain on La Vuelta 2023.

The Tour de France is the cycling race in capital letters. And the biggest cycling stage is also a world showcase for city councils to showcase their localities. Barcelona, aware of the power of major sporting events, has shown interest in becoming a global benchmark. The City Council announced a few days ago that it will open the city’s doors to Formula 1, while it is already finalizing preparations to host the America’s Sailing Cup.

Cycling also holds a place of honor for the City Council: the city was responsible for raising the curtain on La Vuelta 2023 -in a controversial stage marked by weather conditions-, a few weeks ago the UCI Eliminator World Cup took place and is the usual final of La Volta.

Now, the Barcelona City Council recognizes that it is in talks with the Tour organization -ASO, who also carries the Paris-Roubaix, La Liège, Paris-Nice or the Volta itself, among others- to bring to the city the start of the race in 2026.

The Sports Councilman, David Escudé, explained that negotiations began about six years ago and that this time has served to “generate confidence” with Christian Prudhomme -general director of the Tour- and put Barcelona in a good position.

In fact, although “it is a slow work because obviously Barcelona is not the only city that aspires to have a great start of the Tour”, Escudé affirms that “we are in the final sprint and we will see who arrives first to the finish line”.

Despite being cautious and being clear in declaring that “nothing can be taken for granted”, he showed some optimism by explaining that “there are many things we are working on and we hope that they will also bear fruit”. In addition, he stated that “we have two great ambassadors” when referring to Javier Guillén and Rubèn Peris, Directors of La Vuelta and La Volta, respectively.

If the news is confirmed, this would be the first time that Barcelona hosts the start of the Tour. Throughout history there have been 25 starts of the race outside the French borders; Amsterdam was the first (1954) and in recent times it has become a more common practice, as confirmed by the starts in Copenhagen (2022), Bilbao (2023) or Florence (2024).

Even so, the Tour has passed through Barcelona six times, the last time as the finish and start of a stage in 2009.