Tour de France, the largest annual sporting event in the world, arrives in London today as part of its three-day visit to Britain. A million cycling fans are expected to line the streets of the capital to see the world’s cycling elite speed through the city in the battle for the famous Yellow Jersey.
The peloton of almost 200 pro riders will speed into London via Cambridge and Essex, cycling past world-famous sites including Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Tower of London. The final stretch will travel past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to St James's Park, before a spectacular finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The Tour’s Grand Départ began on Saturday 5 July with two thrilling days of cycling along the picturesque roads and winding country lanes of Yorkshire. Cheered on by unprecedented numbers of delighted fans, riders travelled 120-miles from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park on Saturday. Yesterday riders raced from York to Sheffield, before travelling to Cambridge for the start of Stage 3.
Spectators will be able to watch the elite cycling action along the route and at three official Tour de France spectator hubs at Green Park, Trafalgar Square and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The sites will feature a wide range of different activities including live Tour de France racing on the big screen and in Green Park and Trafalgar Square a French-style food market, a Tour de France Museum, interactive cycling activities and more. Team London volunteers will also be on hand across the spectator hubs to provide local travel information and directions.
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events for London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation for the city, says: “There will be an electric atmosphere across London as cycling fans line the streets for Stage 3 of the Tour de France. The UK is a nation of sporting fans and our enthusiasm for cycling has intensified even further since the
2012 Games and two consecutive victories in the Tour. The Grand Départ in Yorkshire has shown once again that the UK is the best nation for sporting events. London is proud to host the Tour de France and the roar of spectators we expect to see out in force today will cement our reputation as the world’s number one host city for major sporting events.”
The Tour de France marks the start of an exhilarating summer of cycling in London. August sees the return of Prudential RideLondon, the Mayor of London’s world-class festival of cycling, and September sees riders battling it out in the final stage of this year’s Tour of Britain.
Over the weekend of 9-10 August, visitors to the capital can watch the world’s best cyclists, including Mark Cavendish who is scheduled to return to racing with his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team to battle it out in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. Before that on Saturday 9th August visitors can watch the professionals in the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix and enjoy cycling along the capital’s closed roads during the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle. On Sunday 10th August 24,000 amateur cyclists from around the world will also take to London’s streets for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.
In September the final stage of the Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycling event, arrives in London. This year's Tour will begin on Sunday 7th September and finish on the 14th September in London after eight tough stages across the country.
Visitors to London can now also cycle the track made famous by London 2012’s sporting elite at the Lee Valley VeloPark. The outstanding venue, home to the iconic London 2012 Velodrome and Olympic BMX track, features everything from learn-to-ride programmes for children, to mountain bike trails, a road race circuit and velodrome track sessions.
London’s cycling events are part of an annual calendar of world-class major events in the city. For more information go to www.visitlondon.com/events.
Notes to Editors
Images of the Tour de France 2007 in London are available to download here.
Images of Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 available on request.
About London & Partners.
London & Partners is the Mayor’s official promotional organisation for London. Our company attracts and delivers value to business, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners.
Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students.
Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal - that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth.
For more information visit www.londonandpartners.com
London & Partners contact details:
Ellie Wilson, Media & PR Manager – Major Events & Business Tourism
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5709 / +44 (0)7595 654 085
London & Partners Media & PR Team:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5710
Switch: +44 (0)20 7234 5800