Tour de France 2014

The Tour de France is coming to London!

There is no Team LCC in this one, but watch out for us at Ride London in August!

 

 

After two days of decidedly lumpy racing in Yorkshire, the Tour De France will speed into London on Monday with a sprint finish on the Mall the likely outcome. The Tour is the world's largest sporting event, and for those who follow bike racing, this is a special moment - the tour has only visited the UK three times before - 1974 (when it made a bizarre channel crossing solely for a stage along the Plymouth bypass), 1994, and 2007. This year, Briton Chris Froome is favourite to repeat last year's overall victory and make it an historic three in a row for the UK riders. 

If you have managed to secure some time off work and are hoping to see the race go by, it is important to plan ahead to get the best view as the race thunders past. The race is expected to pass the Olympic Park between 3pm and 3.30pm, with the finish on the Mall expected between 3.40pm and 4pm. These times are of course dependant on how fast the race is moving, so be prepared get there early, just in case! 

You should also put some thought into where to watch from. For atmosphere and expectation, the finish on the Mall is hard to beat, but don't expect to get a good view here, as the crowd will be packed in and the race will be at top speed. If you want to be at the front, be prepared to get there very early! If you want a better, and less crowded view, the top tip is to site yourself at corners - the race will slow here, and so hopefully you will see more than just a flash of colourful lycra as the race passes.

Of course, not everyone who rides a bike enjoys watching other people do it! If you are just looking to get to work, it is worth noting that roads on the route will be closed between 10am and around 6pm - and once roads are closed you won't be able to ride along the race route. There will be crossing points for pedestrians along the route, but it is worth planning your commute well in advance. As usual, cycling should be the quickest way around the city.

The Tour de France website has more information on the race, and you can find out about the London route on the TfL website, and Mark over at the ibikelondon blog has some handy hints on where to watch the race.

Here we offer a preview of the race, along with a tongue in cheek comparison to what awaits our own riders in the Ride London event on August 10th. Team LCC might not be facing the 40 mph sprint finish, or the demands of another 18 Tour stages, but they are facing a tough route packed full of Surrey’s toughest hills – you can make their hard work worthwhile by donating HERE

 

 

Tour De France Stage 3 – Monday 7th July


 

Starting in sleepy university city of Cambridge and meandering through Essex (admittedly some of the bumpier bits), the route then heads through Epping Forest before visiting the Olympic Park and the Houses of Parliament on route to the increasingly traditional finish on the mall.

 

The Stats

Distance 

155km (96.3 miles)

Total Climbing

837 metres (2746 ft)

Total Descending 

836 metres (2743 ft)

Notable Climbs

None. It’s a little lumpy through Essex, and Epping Forest isn’t flat, but the organisers of the Tour have failed to find anything on the route worthy of being designated a hill.

The Likely Contenders

Mark Cavendish is the home favourite With Cavendish out, the favourite will be Stage 1 winner, Marcel Kittel, who will be facing the challenge of fellow countryman Andre Griepel. French newcomer Arnaud Demare knows the Mall finish well, having won last year’s London-Surrey Classic in a sprint finish there, and could spring a surprise.

 

 

Ride London 100 – August 10th


 

Setting off from the Olympic park in Stratford, the ride will head out of London through Richmond Park, passing through Weybridge and Byfleet before hitting the Surrey hills – frequently changing direction as it seeks out the area’s toughest climbs.  The ride returns to London through Kingston and Wimbledon before crossing the river and heading up Whitehall for a finish on the Mall – where else!

The Stats

Distance

161 km (100 miles)

Total Climbing

1171m (3842 ft)

Total Descending

1172m (3845 ft)

Notable Climbs

Boxhill is the famous climb, and it’s hairpin bends are the closest that southeast England comes to an Alpine ascent. However, the hardest climb on the route comes earlier in the route as the riders tackle the steep gradients and potholed roads of Leith Hill. Whilst these two climbs certainly stand above the rest, the rest of the route is certainly not flat, leaving London through Richmond park, and zig-zagging through the Surrey hills.

The Likely Contenders

We quite fancy our own man Chris Jubb for a pretty quick time – but the important thing is that this is not a race but a personal challenge – it not about the first across the line, but the grit and commitment shown – and we are sure that Team LCC will do us proud!

 
So, as you are watching the professionals storm into town on Monday, spare a thought for Team LCC – they might not be hitting quite the top speeds of the pros, but they aren’t full time cyclists, and their route is pretty tough!
You can see who is riding for Team LCC here, and donate here. All money raised supports London Cycling Campaign’s work, pressing for a city which is safe and inviting – so that everyone can cycle.

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