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Major cycling event to retrace 2014 route of Tour De France

PUBLISHED: 10:25 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:25 13 February 2020

The Velo Essex bike ride has 15,000 places for riders wanting to take on the challenge in September. Picture: VELO ESSEX

The Velo Essex bike ride has 15,000 places for riders wanting to take on the challenge in September. Picture: VELO ESSEX

Romilly Lockyer

A cycling event coming to Essex is hoping it will prove to be the biggest participation event the county has ever seen, retracing a stage of the 2014 Tour De France.

The Velo Essex bike ride will take cyclists on a 100 mile route around the county. Picture: VELO ESSEXThe Velo Essex bike ride will take cyclists on a 100 mile route around the county. Picture: VELO ESSEX

Keen cyclists will be able to sign up for the event which will see 100 miles of roads closed for a traffic-free ride on Wednesday, September 20.

Graham Gooch OBE, former captain of the England and Essex cricket teams, said: "I took up cycling after retirement from professional sport and have never looked back.

"Having lived in Essex all my life while playing and coaching the county team, I know the lanes well and can say first-hand how beautiful this route is.

"The fact the organisers have managed to retrace so much of the famous 2014 Tour de France Stage Three route is just fantastic."

The Velo Essex bike ride has 15,000 places for riders wanting to take on the challenge in September. Picture: VELO ESSEXThe Velo Essex bike ride has 15,000 places for riders wanting to take on the challenge in September. Picture: VELO ESSEX

Vélo hosted the third stage of the prestigious race in 2014 and will trace the route for almost half of the 100-mile challenge.

It will travel up to the Suffolk border travelling through Steeple Bumpstead and Ridgewell.

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The course will involve just 1,200 metres of climbing due to the gentle countryside of the county, making it achievable for amateur riders too.

Riders will retrace nearly 50 miles of the 2014 Stage 3 Tour De France route through the Essex countryside. Picture: VELO ESSEXRiders will retrace nearly 50 miles of the 2014 Stage 3 Tour De France route through the Essex countryside. Picture: VELO ESSEX

As well as the full ride there is a 50-mile route and a free family ride for those looking for a smaller challenge.

The event will culminate in a cycling festival in Hylands Park in Chelmsford and is offering 15,000 places.

Officially partnered with Active Essex, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and Prostate Cancer UK, the event is hoping to raise millions of pounds for charity alongside participants individual efforts.

Ray Gooding, cabinet member for Essex County Council for Education and Skills, said: "Vélo Essex will be a great event involving thousands of people, many of whom will be coming to Essex for the first time.

"This event will showcase the beautiful countryside and wonderful towns we enjoy in Essex."

Disruption to motorists is to be expected during the event and organisers, Active Essex, are working with the individuals and businesses within the community to ensure residents are aware of the road closures ahead of time.

To view the routes in full and pre-register for the event click here.

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