Tour de France article
Cycling’s most famous race is set to roll through Hackney this summer.
The third stage of the 2014 Tour de France will be routed through
Ruckholt Road, East Way and Waterden Road in the Hackney Wick area,
followed by a race through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Competitors
will then continue towards central London for the final sprint up The
Cycling Club Hackney manager Keir Apperley, who has travelled to
France seven times to see the race, said: “I still can’t believe it’s
going to be coming down our roads, the same roads that we train on, it’s
insane. I don’t think people quite realise the enormity of it.”
“When the Tour is happening in front of you, it’s unreal. I don’t
know what to compare it to; the first time at Glastonbury Festival or
something. It’ll be a complete shutdown, everything is about this race.
It’s a day long street party for cycle sport fans. I wish all schools
would close for half a day just to let young people witness the day Le
Tour came to Hackney.”
The journey from Cambridge and London makes up Stage 3 of the
world-famous race, taking place on Monday 7 July. The route covers 159km
and passes through Cambridgeshire, Essex, North and East London,
finishing up in Westminster. Stage 1, July 5, runs from Leeds to
Harrogate, and Stage 2, July 6, runs from York to Sheffield.
Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: “It’s fantastic such a
prestigious event is coming to East London and only right that it passes
through Hackney, the capital’s number one borough for cycling. Seeing
cycling’s superstars race through our streets will hopefully inspire
even more people to get on their bikes and lead more active lifestyles.
The Mayor has also said he hopes the event will provide a boost for
local business as thousands of spectators descend on the borough to
watch the event.
Chair of Hackney Cyclists Trevor Parsons welcomed the event, but
urged would-be cyclists not to be put off by the glamorous side of the
sport: “Coming out of the success of British sports cyclists in the Tour
de France and the 2012 Olympics, events like this will help to support
the trend of cycling as a sport… but what we’re also trying to encourage
is everyday cycling, in everyday clothes.”
Free professional cycling lessons are available through the Council for beginners as well as experienced cyclists.
The roads which make up the route are expected to be closed for much
of the day. There will be significant congestion on nearby roads and
parking restrictions may apply in some areas. Mayor Pipe said: “We’ve
been advising businesses, schools and other organisations to help them
plan to minimise disruption and make the most of the day.”
The London section of the tour is being managed by TfL, the GLA and
London & Partners. The complete route in London has been published
by TfL, and more details of the race itinerary and specific road closure
times will be made available over the coming months. For more
information, visit TfL’s Tour de France page.
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