Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery - Le Tour de France: Turnout for Essex leg is better than expected in some French villages

13:11 07 July 2014

Thousands of people flocked to Finchingfield to watch the Tour de France go through.

Thousands of people flocked to Finchingfield to watch the Tour de France go through.

Archant

The caravan has arived in Finchingfield heralding the imminent arrival of the Tour de France cyclists.

The village is packed with spectators and reporter Will Lodge, who is at the scene, said many people have taken the day off to see the spectacle.

He said schools have also closed to allow children to join the celebration.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “Great Bardfield resident Ian Fox says turnout here in Finchingfield is bigger than some French villages simply because they are used to it.”

A range of stalls are serving up refreshment to spectators - with picnic hampers available from one pub and a hog roast on offer elsewhere.

The village also has a large 18m TV screen which was transported straight from the British Grand Prix yesterday.

The route was open to amateur cyclists earlier and Will said: “Some cyclists are still riding the route with each one getting a huge cheer as they come through the village.

“Just seen some of the 25 riders from Boxford Bike Club who say the buzz is incredible right along the route.”

Hundre ds of thousands of spectators are lining the roads of East Anglia today to catch a glimpse of stage three of the world’s biggest cycle race - which leaves Cambridge at 12.15pm, travels through Essex and onto London.

We are bringing you live coverage here throughout the day. And you can join us by adding #LeTourEssex to your Tweets.

The opening stages in Yorkshire over the weekend saw an estimated 2.5m spectators line the route - described as one of the best turnouts in the event’s history.

Special events are taking place in towns and villages right along the Essex leg today.

Street performers will herald the Tour’s arrival in Wethersfield with a performance at the playing field.

A global stage will take place after the race at the Wethersfield Playing fields with performances by Braintree-based arts organisation Chakardar and Efua Sey Cultural academy based in Harlow with African dance and Music. Also performing will be Namvula’s, fusing the energy and rhythms of folk and urban traditions from her Zambian homeland with London’s eclectic music scene.

A three-day music festival at the Old Rayne Station in Rayne has been coincided to conclude with the Tour’s visit and the Braintree BMX club will also be at the village playing field doing demonstrations.

Large screens will be showing the whole of Stage Three throughout the day in Felsted and also in Chelmsford where there will be a range of activities and live music.

In Howe Street, L’etape Village d’Essex (the Essex Stage Village) is being held at River Farm, Main Road. It includes exhibitions by cycling companies and manufacturers, demonstrations, food and drink.

Figures in Essex are hoping the Tour will bring a boost to the county’s businesses and residents.

Ann Naylor, Essex county councillor for public health and well-being, said: “This is a huge event and we are ready for the world to come.

“Businesses are keen on it. Some were perhaps not at first but after reflection they realised it will attract people into their town, and people will hear about it on TV and it will make a big difference in raising the profile of their area.”

Reassurance has been given that the county’s roads are in a fit state to host the spectacle, which will be watched by an estimated worldwide audience of two billion people.

Liz Burr, head of network and safety at Essex Highways, said: “The roads were inspected back in October and the organisers were very impressed. Since then it has been twice inspected in addition to its normal inspections.

“We are aiming for a reasonable standard. We are not doing work especially but re-programming work to get it done before the race.

“They are not expecting perfection, it is a tour, not a velodrome race.”

Gary Sullivan, chairman of Active Essex, said: “Closing 180km of roads will be interesting, but we have done something similar with the Olympic torch relay. We have the confidence of the cycling world in putting on events, and they didn’t hesitate in putting Essex onto the route. It is going to be fantastic.

“We expect people to come from France, Holland, Belgium and elsewhere as well... It is a colourful spectacle with all the team jerseys, and we are encouraging everyone to get out there and get involved, including decorating their houses or shop fronts if they are along the route itself.”

Today’s race will finish on The Mall, after a closing section which will pass many of London famous landmarks and a last few kilometres along the River Thames before passing the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

The finish line is where the bike races ended in the London 2012 Olympics.

For more on Le Tour, click here

1 comment

  • "better than expected in some French villages". Since many French villages are very small and France has a much lower population density than Britain, that's the kind of comparison that's completely pointless and misleading.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, July 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Corrie McKeague

RAF personnel have joined the search for a missing Honington serviceman who has not been seen since the early hours of Saturday.

Former Royal Household official Ronald Harper arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London. Photo Philip Toscano/PA Wire

A former Royal Household official from Suffolk who accepted more than £100,000 in bribes to award contracts for work at royal residences including Buckingham Palace has today been jailed for five years.

Daphne Rose, Doug Stewart and Rob Rose.

A trio of older motorists from Suffolk have proved it is never too late to become a better driver – and urged other road users to follow in their tracks.

Cycling on Felixstowe prom is to be made legal in a year-long trial.

Community leaders say the year-long trial to allow cycling on Felixstowe’s promenade has not yet started – and people riding their bikes are breaking the law.

Ipswich Crown Court

A barman at a party at a Suffolk riding stables sexually assaulted two schoolgirls, it has been alleged.

Three generations: June Jones, son Nicholas and daughter Julia, and Edith Maud and Jack Jones, at Christmas, 1958

My view, for what it’s worth, is that the Government should issue Julia Jones’s book to every household, so we all learn to understand dementia – the frustration, the exhaustion, the bewilderment and, yes, the tender moments to treasure, writes Steven Russell.

A variety of the drug

A teenager was put on life support in hospital after suffering a severe reaction to a legal high known as ‘spice’.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24