Residents from the top to the bottom of Epping Forest will have the best view in town when the Tour de France comes to the District on Monday 7 July 2014.
The route, announced in Paris on 23 October 2013 will see the World’s best riders follow country lanes through some of the district’s most beautiful and scenic country lanes.
The Epping Forest district route
- Coming from Chelmsford passing the villages of Willingale, Fyfield and Moreton
- Crossing the A414 at the Talbot roundabout, it will stream through North Weald on its way down to Epping
- From Epping it will take the A104 Epping New Road through Epping Forest past Loughton and Buckhurst Hill on its way in to London via Woodford
Le Tour will be coming to Essex for the third stage in the three-week race. The full route announcement was made at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The first two stages will take place in Yorkshire, beginning in Leeds on Saturday 5 July. The third stage of Le Tour starts from Cambridge and then moves on to Essex before heading to London to finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The route enters Essex north of Saffron Walden, taking in parts of Uttlesford, Braintree and Chelmsford. For two likely competitors the route through Essex will feel very close to home – Team Sky’s Ian Stannard, who supported 2013 winner Chris Froome to the yellow jersey and Movistar’s Alex Dowsett, who won a stage of the 2013 Tour of Italy, are both from Chelmsford.
County Councillor Ann Naylor, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing said: “We’re delighted to be able to say “bienvenue” from Essex. This is yet another great sporting event to come to our county, building on our success with the Olympic Mountain Biking event and the Torch Relay for London 2012. Cycling is not only a fast-growing global sport but a great way of keeping fit and healthy. It’s wonderful that we may have 2 inspirational Essex-born stars riding through their home county and I’m sure the spectacle of the peleton flashing through our towns and countryside will be a brilliant way to showcase our county to the world.”
Epping Forest District Council’s Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread is Epping born and bred. He lives and works in the town. He said confirmation of the route is ‘Brilliant news’.
“I am delighted. This is the biggest and best sporting spectacle in this area since the Lee Valley White Water Centre hosted the paddling events at London 2012. It will be an incredible opportunity to showcase the district. There will be thousands of spectators lining the route and rekindling the feel-good buzz of London 2012. The event reaches a global TV audience of around 3.5 billion people. I am not sure even the Olympic Mountain Bike events at Hadleigh Farm and the White Water canoe events at Waltham Abbey matched that kind of coverage.” said Councillor Whitbread.
London 2012 provides many of the organisational blueprints for arrangements through Epping Forest. Essex County Council will be working with Epping Forest District Council and other partners to make the day a success. The route has been closely inspected and road closures will be kept to the absolute minimum to avoid inconvenience to the travelling public.
Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Liz Webster said: “Among the legacies of London 2012 was a great deal of professionalism and expertise in handling these kinds of events. Looking back, the Olympic Torch Relay was an outstanding national triumph building up to the events in London. We have unrivalled expertise in managing such events. It will be a tremendous boost to the district. I can’t wait”.