Essex hosts the Tour de France 2014
As we eagerly await the public opening of the 2012 Olympic mountain biking site at Hadleigh in Spring 2015, cycling mania is set to return to our county this summer with Le Tour de France on Monday 7 July 2014. As one of only three destinations in the South, Essex is proud to host the third stage of the three-week international race. The best cyclists in the world will be pedalling through parts of Uttlesford, Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest. We look forward to welcoming 200+ riders as we line the streets and join in the exciting atmosphere. Make the most of your visit by exploring some of our most picturesque villages and urban attractions en route to discover the real Essex.
The third stage of the tour, said to be the toughest sporting event in the world, enters our county north of Saffron Walden, taking in the quaint villages of Uttlesford, then on to the district of Braintree passing through Finchingfield, said to be the most photographed village in England. Riders will journey further south, passing Braintree, Chelmsford, our newest city, and Epping, home to the royal hunting forest frequented during Tudor times by Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, before finishing in London on The Mall.
Making Tracks in Essex
“I love cycling in Essex because there are lots of windy lanes and quiet roads. Along with being a great place to cycle, Essex is also the driest county in the UK and that is always helpful when you’re on a bike navigating a road.
The Tour de France passes through Essex en-route to London and that is really exciting, a complete “one-off”. I train on the middle section [of the stage] where it comes into Essex and goes over the top of Chelmsford. There’s not going to be a lot to gain by the fact I’ve ridden the roads but it’ll be a bit surreal to ride the biggest race in the world on the roads I ride on a day-to-day basis.
Essex is my home and I am still based here even though most World tour riders are based abroad. My training and preparation for competition is not affected by me living at home, plus all my friends and family are here.”