Millions of eyes will be on the City of Nice next year thanks to the news that the Tour De France will depart from the Cote d’Azur on June 27.

Atout France and Nice Tourism were so thrilled with the news that they organised a fabulous dinner for the travel trade at Sofitel Darling Harbour this week to celebrate.

It’ll mark the second time that the capital of the French Riviera has played host to the Grand Départ, with the last time being in 1981.

The elegant soiree was put on in partnership with big names including British Airways, Dior, GH Mumm and Christian Louboutin.


Mathieu Sampson (Dior) and Myriam Conrié (Sofitel Darling Harbour)

Host of SBS’ Tour de France coverage Michael Tomalaris commented on behalf of the Director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme about how wonderful it is that Australians were such big fans of the sporting event.

“I am staggered by the humongous impact of Le Tour de France in Australia, which reflects the interest of Aussies for sports and travelling to France,” he said.

Sophie Almin, Rupert Guiness, Gabriel Gate, Stuart O’Grady & Claire Neil

The evening also saw a warm welcome by Denis Zanon, Director of the city of Nice Tourism who said he looked forward to welcoming Australians to Nice as part of the event next year.

Australians have a zest for visiting Nice in 2018 with Aussies totalling 55,000 bed nights in the city each year. A number that is expected to rise with next year’s festivities.

Chef Virginie Basselot: Meilleur Ouvrier de France

All guests were able to enjoy a taste of Nice last night thanks to an outstanding gastronomic menu was created by the Michelin star chef of the mythical Negresco hotel, Virginie Basselot.


The room was filled with the rhythm of a lively jazz band, who played some Sidney Bechet, in honour of this artist who has performed at Nice Jazz Festival.

Brent Street dancers

The dinner was wrapped up with agility and style as bicycle wheels and saddles were juggled by a dynamic dance crew in a splendid choreography.

The evening whet everyone’s appetite for Nice and France ahead of next year’s big event.

For more information about the City of Nice and the Tour de France, please visit