Sign up to cycle Tour de France route day before world’s top competitors

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Thursday, January 2, 2014
10:29 AM

Carnival fever will descend on Saffron Walden ahead of next summer’s Tour de France visit – with hordes of people expected to cycle the route 24 hours before the world’s top competitors.

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Parts of the town will be cordoned off the day before the Tour’s ­momentous arrival on Monday, July 7, as organisers of Saffron Walden Carnival, The Round Table, team up with cycling club Walden Velo for the Carnival Tour Sportive.

Beginning and ending on the Common, the unique event has been added to the town’s eight-day ­carnival spectacular – from July 4-12 – and people are being urged to take part.

Walden Velo is expecting between 500 and 1,000 cyclists.

The chance to get involved with the historic 100-year-old race does not end there.

Uttlesford residents also have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the likes of reigning champion Chris Froome and fellow Brit Mark Cavendish by volunteering as Tour Makers.

Essex County Council has been tight-lipped about what exactly the role involves, but has promised Tour Makers “will be on the frontline to welcome the world and help millions of spectators have a fantastic time”.

Stage three of Le Tour makes its way along Saffron Walden high street, taking in Radwinter, The Sampfords, Finchingfield and Felsted, before ­heading to London to finish on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The peloton will arrive in Saffron Walden from Cambridge, where stage three begins, entering via Windmill Hill before continuing down High Street, turning left on to George Street, travelling up Hill Street and then out towards Radwinter via East Street and the B1053.

Although the Sportive – a short to long distance, organised, ­mass-participation cycling event – will follow a similar route, the exact details are not being revealed until nearer the time.

To sign up and cycle the route, visit britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/101872/Carnival

Entry is £10, with the money raised being donated to local charities as part of the carnival ethos.

Meanwhile, residents have until Monday, January 20 to register their interest as Tour Makers by visiting letour.yorkshire.com/tour-makers.

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