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Tour de France: Countdown to the greatest race in the world

Team Sky's Chris Froome, of Great Britain, in the centre of the peloton as it makes its way along the Champs Elysees during the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris last year. Team Sky's Chris Froome, of Great Britain, in the centre of the peloton as it makes its way along the Champs Elysees during the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris last year.

Friday, July 4, 2014
12:00 PM

With the official beginning of the Tour de France 2014 due to start in Yorkshire tomorrow, physical preparations for its arrival in the capital are already underway.

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The Tour de France was last in London in 2007 Picture: B. BadeThe Tour de France was last in London in 2007 Picture: B. Bade

Although road closures will be in place from 10am on Monday morning, crowd barriers have already been erected along Westfield Avenue, Stratford as organisers prepare for shoppers and residents to watch the spectacle of what has become known as the greatest cycle race of them all.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a venue of destination for many, particularly children enjoying an extra day’s holiday, as it will feature a large screen TV at a spectator hub for cycling fans. They will have the chance to watch live as the world’s elite cyclists wind their way to London from Cambridge from where they are expected to set off at noon for stage 3 of the race.

Although Westfield Avenue, Warton Road, and Stratford High Street will give spectators one of the best views in Newham it is worth noting that many roads will be closed or subject to diversions and parking restrictions. Organisers TfL are urging fans of the race, which is starting the UK for only the second time in its 111-year history, to plan ahead and use public transport.

Its worth remembering that although there will be about 200 riders taking part in the race, they will be accompanied by publicity vehicles and police travelling ahead of the main body of cyclists.

The first publicity vehicles are expected at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at 1.21pm, the police are due to enter the venue at 2.55pm, and five minutes later the first riders should arrive. The publicity vehicles are expected at Royal Victoria Dock at 1.35pm and riders at 3.05pm.

The race is expected to leave Newham at 3.45pm although the timings could change.

TfL Ambassadors will be at major transport hubs to help keep London moving. For detailed travel advice visit tfl.gov.uk/tourdefrance

Road closures will be in effect in the following areas:

Stratford High Street, Warton Road, High Street (A118), Broadway (A118),

West Ham Lane (A112), New Plaistow Road (A112), Plaistow Road (A112)

Plaistow: High Street (A112), The Broadway (A112), Greengate Street (A112), Prince Regent Lane (A112)

Beckton and Royal Docks: Tollgate Road, Stansfeld Road, Royal Albert Way (A1020), Connaught Bridge (A1020)

It is also worth remembering that junctions off all these roads will either be closed or affected.

We will be out in the borough reporting on the racing spectacular but we want to know if you will be watching the Tour de France and would love to hear how you marked the event. We particularly want to see your photos so get in touch at kay.atwal@archant.co.uk

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