Tour de France to turn Capitals streets into international sports arena

15 January 2007

The Tour will be great for London, showcasing the UK capital to the world

The Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the world's largest annual sporting event, will be visiting London for the first time during the weekend of 6-8 July 2007.

The race will see some of the greatest names in cycle racing fighting it out for the famous Yellow Jersey on the Capital's streets.

The Prologue and Stage One of the famous race will take place on closed sections of the Capital's streets.

The Prologue on Saturday 7 July will be an eight kilometre (five miles) lap of central London, starting on Whitehall, taking in some of London's most famous landmarks, including Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and finishing on the Mall.

Stage One, on Sunday 8 July, will start in central London, passing close to a variety of historic and contemporary sites including Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin and crossing Tower Bridge close to City Hall.

The race will then travel through Bermondsey, Deptford, Greenwich and Erith before heading out into Kent.

In Kent the Tour will pass through Dartford, Gravesend, Medway, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone and Ashford before the stage finish in Canterbury.

The riders will be preceded by the publicity caravan, which is a huge carnival with floats and vehicles from the race's sponsors providing music and freebies to spectators.

Cycle fever

There will also be a range of events happening throughout the weekend to welcome the Tour de France to the Capital.

The race will be run on closed roads, with the roads closed for several hours (longer for roads on the Prologue route), with some additional parking controls in place on and near the race route.

TfL is encouraging people living on or near the route to visit and to keep an eye on their local media nearer to the event, to find out further details about the impact on the local area.

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "The Tour de France is so much more than a cycle race and creates a carnival atmosphere wherever it visits.

Showcasing London

"The Tour will be great for London, showcasing the UK capital to the world, bringing huge amounts of visitors to London and encouraging more Londoners to take to two wheels."

"TfL will be working hard, with the emergency services and borough councils, to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum so everyone can enjoy this fantastic free-to-view event safely.

"The Grand Depart website will provide frequent updates on local events and road closures."

  • PDF maps of the route are available to media from TfL Press Office on request
  • Full details of the route for the Tour de France Prologue on Saturday 7 July and Stage One on Sunday 8 July are available at the Tour de France website