August 2 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 7, 2014
Essex continues to reflect on the “historic day” billions of people worldwide tuned in to watch the Tour de France pass through the county.
Officials have estimated more than one million people turned up in Cambridge, Essex and London to watch the biggest annual sporting event in the world.
Thousands of people lined the route in Uttlesford, Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest as the county of Essex grabbed the world’s attention.
Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Councillor Ann Naylor, said: “This has been an amazing day for Essex.
“The colour and atmosphere to celebrate the Tour has shown the world our fantastic county. The turnout was wonderful with so many people supporting the Tour in Essex.
“Billions have watched the race on TV around the world and can only have been impressed by our idyllic landscape and enthusiastic residents and visitors.”
She added: “The fantastic success of the Tour de France in Essex is just another example of how we are able to host world-class sporting events and it is a day the whole county can will look back on for years to come. It was a truly historic day.”
Gary Sullivan, chair of Active Essex, said: “It has been a fantastic day for sport in Essex.
“We have worked hard with our partner organisations, including Visit Essex and the district councils, to host the Tour de France and make it a success. It is testament to this partnership work that so many people have come out to support the event.
“The Tour also provides us with a great opportunity for a sporting legacy. I believe having the world’s best cyclists in Essex will inspire more people to take up the sport and to get active and we now need to encourage and support them to do this.”
He added: “It builds on the legacy of the Olympic Mountain Bike Event in Hadleigh in 2012, the Tour of Britain, and the Women’s Tour earlier this year.
“I believe it will lead to more major sporting events coming to our county in the future.”
Stage Three of the Tour de France began in Cambridge with the riders setting off at 12.15pm before entering Essex 35 minutes later.
Crowds cheered as they entered Saffron Walden where the carnival and big screen on the Common provided the backdrop for the celebrations.
Thousands of spectators flocked to Finchingfield to watch the riders pass through one of the most photographed villages in the country, while a procession of artists performing music from around the world welcomed the cyclists and spectators to Wethersfield.
The village of Felsted also held a number of events to entertain all age groups.
French rider Bryan Coquard, of Team Europcar, won the sprint section of the stage which had its finish line on Epping High Street, before the riders headed off through Epping Forest and into London where Germany’s Marcel Kittell of the Giant Shimano Team claimed the overall stage victory.
Here is a selection of photos from Saffron Walden.
To see more, grab a copy of this Thursday’s Saffron Walden Reporter.
• See the rest of our galleries, including pictures of the crowds across Uttlesford, via the Tour de France section of our website.