Cyclists compete in the 2011 Island Games. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
UPDATED FRIDAY 20:41*
A COUNCILLOR'S suggestion the Isle of Wight should host the Tour de France has been rejected as too expensive.
Cllr Bob Seely said the Island should bid to host the event’s opening stages, Le Grand Depart.
He said: "The Island is rightly regarded as having some of the best cycle in the UK and Europe. If Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire can host the Tour, why not Hampshire and the Isle of Wight?"
But executive member for tourism Cllr Shirley Smart said the Isle of Wight Council would have to foot the bill.
"If the council is happy in invest £1.5m in funding I would be happy to ask the leader," she said at last night’s (Wednesday) full council meeting,
Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens said he would ask the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) if any money could be made available.
If not Le Tour, it could be possible the Island could host a road race to further enhance it's reputation as a cycling destination, he said.
*After the idea was raised on social media by Islanders, Women's Tour of Britain organiser Guy Elliott said they would considering coming to the Isle of Wight, if it was a serious request.