A decision by transport bosses not to have London stage the grand depart of the Tour de France in 2017 has been criticised as a "wasted opportunity" by Labour mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan.

Transport for London (TfL) turned down the chance to host the world's biggest cyclist event last week, a day before contracts were to be signed.

The capital beat bids from Manchester, Edinburgh and other cities in Germany to host the race a decade on from staging the Tour in 2007 and three years after hosting the third stage finish.

TfL pulled out as it did not offer value for money, the managing director of surface transport, Leon Daniels has said.

He said: "We have loved hosting the Tour de France in 2007 and 2014, both of which were amazing events that inspired thousands of new cyclists and showcased London as a world class city for cycling.

"We have always said that the return of the Tour was subject to funding.

"To ensure value for money we must make difficult choices, and on this occasion we have decided that we will not be hosting the Grand Depart in 2017."

Tooting MP Mr Khan, said Boris Johnson has "serious questions" to answer.

"The government has wasted a huge opportunity to sell London to the world and bring one of the world's greatest sporting events back to London," he said.

"Londoners deserve to know exactly what happened for the tour to be cancelled at the last minute with little explanation. "The government and Boris Johnson have serious questions to answer."

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Crowds lining the streets in Walthamstow as they wait for the peleton to pass through in 2014 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Woodside Primary School pupils show their support for world cycling event in Lea Bridge Road