August 1 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Monday, July 7, 2014
A staggering 12 million people watch the Tour roadside in all its stages in any given year.
Today, tens of thousands of Londoners will witness some of the greatest names in cycling battle it out for the right to wear the famous yellow jersey.
The three-day leg of the Tour de France began on Saturday in Yorkshire with a 120-mile stretch from Leeds to Harrogate through Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is estimated a million people, many dressed in bright colours,lined the streets and cheered on the riders.
On the second day, the 198 riders will go from York to Sheffield before travelling by car to Cambridge, ready for day three.
The route for this stage will start in Cambridge today, at about noon, going through Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire before heading into Essex.
The sprint will commence in Essex, then pass through Saffron Walden and close to the towns of Braintree and Chelmsford, before heading west and riding through Epping.
The route will then head to Greater London where the world’s greatest cyclists will ride close to Woodford Green, Chingford, Walthamstow and Snaresbrook before approaching central London via Leyton, Stratford, West Ham, Plaistow, Silvertown, Leamouth, Poplar, Wapping and Shadwell.
Once past the Tower of London, the final kilometres of the route will take them along the Thames, towards Lower and Upper Thames streets and Victoria Embankment before riding past the Houses of Parliament, around St James’s Park and finishing, with Buckingham Palace as a backdrop, in The Mall in St James’s Park between 3.30pm and 4pm. All times quoted are estimates and could change on the day.
Though there will be about 200 riders, the race does include as many as 2,000 associated security and supporting vehicles all of which will be making their way through a 10-mile stretch of the route in Newham beginning at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to leave the borough through the Blackwall Tunnel once it clears Silvertown Way.
Transport for London, which is organising the event with the Mayor of London, has published a list of best spectator points. They include Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park fan park and West Ham Lane. Others spots are the Tower of London and Embankment.
A pre-race caravan is expected to arrive at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at 1.21pm with the first cyclist expected to enter the park at 3pm. The race is due to leave the borough at 3.45pm.
For Newham residents hoping to get a clear view of the race, the best places are: Westfield Avenue as it overlooks Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Stratford High Street, in front of Stratford Town Hall, and West Ham Lane. Shoppers who happen to be in John Lewis on the day can also watch the riders from a viewing platform that overlooks the route and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.