Bilbao seemingly set to host the start of the Tour de France Femmes in 2027

Bilbao Sign

Bilbao is poised to enhance its reputation as a hub for major sporting events by hosting the start of the Tour de France Femmes in 2027. El Correo reports that negotiations between the city of Bilbao and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the event’s organisers, are nearing completion. The city, which recently hosted the Grand Depart of the men’s race in 2023, looks set to continue its cycling legacy.

Mayor Juan Mari Aburto had hinted last year at Bilbao’s ambitions to host this prestigious event, although the exact year was not then specified. Recent weeks have seen the discussions advance significantly, with both sides reportedly agreeing on the 2027 edition. While most arrangements are aligned, the final details are yet to be ironed out, including how many stages will take place in the Basque region.

Bilbao buildings near trees

This year’s race sees half of the race not actually taking place in France. That’s partly down to the Olympics taking place in Paris but shows that the race is open to racing abroad as well as in France. The decision on the number of local stages hinges on the overall design of the race, which spans just eight days. This move comes as part of Bilbao’s strategy to remain at the forefront of sporting events, building on the successful reception of the men’s race.

The prospect of the Tour de France Femmes starting in Bilbao has been further bolstered by Laboral Kutxa’s ambitions. The Basque team aims to secure a spot among the 15 WorldTour teams by 2026. El Correo reports that there is a plan for the Women’s WorldTour to expand to 18 teams in 2018. However, this expansion remains unconfirmed by the UCI, which has so far only ever mentioned 15 Women’s WorldTour teams for the allocation in 2026.

Demi Vollering Tour de France Femmes

Laboral Kutxa is well placed financially but needs to accrue sufficient points to compete at the highest levels. The team, currently ranked twenty-second in the UCI standings, gains entry to top-tier races mainly through invitation. That includes this year’s Tour de France Femmes.

We will await the official confirmation that Bilbao will see the start of the 2027 race. The 2026 Grand Depart is also unconfirmed, with a British bid for the Tour de France apparently made but unlikely to follow through.