May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 17, 2013
THE 2014 Tour de France is to pass through Uttlesford on its way to London, it has been announced.
Organisers of the world’s greatest cycle race have revealed the official route it will take from the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, and – as exclusively revealed by the Reporter earlier this month – speculation about the prestigious race coming to Uttlesford has proved to be correct.
As expected, the third stage will start in Cambridge. The planned route will then take in the Chesterfords, Saffron Walden, Debden, Henham, Takeley, Hatfield Broad Oak and Hatfield Heath on its way to the capital, although the exact roads the cyclists will travel on are yet to be approved.
Britain’s first winner in the Tour’s 99-year history, Sir Bradley Wiggins, and fellow British stars Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome are just some of the famous riders likely to be seen cycling through district.
Like the Olympic road race, the stage is to finish on The Mall.
The 101st tour will begin in Leeds with the Grand Depart on Saturday July, 5. Riders will head northwest into the Yorkshire countryside, taking in the Yorkshire Dales before finishing the opening stage in Harrogate.
York hosts the start of stage two, which is to pass through Keighley and Huddersfield on the way to Sheffield, before the race moves to Cambridge for the final leg in Britain.
After leaving Cambridge on July 7, Wiggins and co will ride 170km through Uttlesford and Epping Forest before reaching London. The third stage will feature a visit to the London 2012 Olympic Park, while passing landmark sights including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.
The 23-day Tour then heads to France ahead of its usual climax on the Champs Elysees in Paris, where the winner of the famous yellow jersey is crowned.
Yorkshire beat rival bids from Edinburgh and Florence to host the race’s Grand Depart. It will be the fourth time the Tour has come to Britain after previous visits in 1974, 1994 and, in 2007, when London hosted the prologue and opening stage for the first time.
“The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2007 in London, the first ever organised in the United Kingdom, will remain unforgettable. We are very glad to return, seven years after, to this magnificent city,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
“Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breath-taking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire to welcome the Tour de France and no doubt that popular acclaim will be particularly in evidence over there.”