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Tour de France in London

Houses of Parliament, London

Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 finishes in London on Monday 7th July. Departing from Cambridge, the stage travels through the Essex countryside, via Epping Forest, and into Greater London on the A104 near Buckhurst Hill. It takes in the Olympic Park, London City Airport, and the Limehouse Link, then passes Tower Bridge and the Tower of London before going to Parliament Square and Birdcage Walk, Buckingham Palace, and the finish on The Mall.

According to a report in the Evening Standard, at least a million people will line the streets of the capital to cheer on the riders, with many of the spectators hoping for a Mark Cavendish win.

Buckingham Palace from the Mall

Thierry Gouvenou, the Sports Director of the Tour, who set the route, expects it to end in a sprint. 'A short 155km stage to the British capital, which gave the Tour de France an unforgettable welcome in 2007. A prestigious stage which will take the peloton alongside the Olympic Park and London's most famous landmarks before finishing opposite Buckingham Palace. Of course, with everything pointing towards a mass sprint, the spotlight will be back on Cavendish. Will he be at the top of his game? I think so. But one thing is for sure: the crowds will turn out in force, as large and fiery as seven years ago.'

Tour de France in London: route information and maps

Tour de France 2014 route in London

Transport for London has produced a map of the Tour route in London (see the image above, or a full-size PDF version from TfL's Tour de France site). There's also an interactive map of the Stage 3 route, which shows the whole stage, including London in detail. 

After the day's intermediate sprint on Epping High Street, the race comes through Epping Forest on the A104, and crosses into Great London near Buckhurst Hill, just before the junction with the A121. As well as the map of the whole Tour route in London, TfL has maps of smaller sections of the Tour de France route in London, starting with an Epping Forest to Stratford Tour de France map.

Epping Forest   A104 in Leyton

Stage 3 passes Woodford Green (in the London Borough of Redbridge) on the A104, and continues on the A104 Woodford New Road near Walthamstow, then the A104 Lea Bridge Road which runs in between Leyton and Walthamstow. The race then joins the Lea valley, going along Orient Way on the edge of Hackney Marsh (known for Sunday league football, with 80+ football, rugby, and cricket pitches), and close to Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium. 

Hackney Marshes

It takes the A106 Eastway/Ruckholt Road, goes under the A12, and along Waterden Road through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, past Here East (the Press and Broadcasting centre during the London Olympics), past the Copper Box arena, over the river Lea, and along Westfield Avenue, with the Olympic stadium to the right. 

Orbit tower, Olympic Park   London Olympic Velodrome

Next the riders go towards London City airport and Canary Wharf. This TfL map shows the section from the Olympic Park to Canary Wharf

The riders will join the A118 High Street, and head south east through West Ham on the A112 West Ham Lane/Plaistow Road/High Street/Greengate Street/Prince Regent Lane. (West Ham is known for West Ham Park, and West Ham United Football Club). After crossing the A13, they turn down Tollgate Road then Stansfield Road, past Beckton District Park on the left, and on the right King George V Park, which contains Newham City Farm

They arrive at the Royal Albert Dock (home to the London Regatta rowing centre), near London City Airport, and cross Connaught Bridge, before heading west on North Woolwich Road between the Thames and the Royal Victoria Dock. Here, they'll ride alongside the Docklands Light Railway, and they go under the cable car. The race takes the Lower Lea crossing, over the river Lea where it joins the Thames. It goes past East India Dock, and continues on Aspen Way, through Blackwall, past Billingsgate Fish Market and West India Quay, and close to Canary Wharf. 

London City airport   Royal Victoria Dock and Canary Wharf

This is a TfL map of the section from London City Airport to London Bridge.

Stage 3 continues via the Limehouse Link, which takes the riders onto the A1203 The Highway. This TfL map is of the final section from The Highway to The Mall

Tower Bridge, London   Tower of London

The riders continue west on East Smithfield to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Tower Hill, Byward Street (past the Old Custom House, and HMS Belfast), and Lower Thames Street take the riders to London Bridge, then they're on Upper Thames Street past Southwark Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge. The race continues on Victoria Embankment past Waterloo Bridge, Cleopatra's Needle, and Embankment tube station. There'll be views of the London Eye before the riders get to Westminster Bridge. 

Cleopatra's Needle   Houses of Parliament, London

The Tour de France goes via Bridge Street, Parliament Square (past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben), St George Street, and onto Birdcage Walk (along the side of St James's Park). The riders will veer right on Spur Road, and pass the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Green Park (where there's a Tour de France Fan Park) is now on their left. They'll sprint to the finish part way along The Mall. 

(At the other end of The Mall is Trafalgar Square, where there's another Tour de France Fan Park). 

Buckingham Palace, London   The Mall, London

Tour de France in London: where to watch the race

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Where to watch the Tour de France 2014 in London: the Olympic Park

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was at one time listed as a Tour de France Fan Park, but appears to have been removed from the list. However, it seems that it is still an official spectator hub, to be run by Transport for London. Anyway, there's no reason why you couldn't watch the race from here. The riders will take Waterden Road past the Copper Box arena, then Westfield Avenue. There is plenty of parkland, and there are cafes for refreshments. We assume that TfL will put up a big screen. The Olympic Park will provide a magnificent background to the race.

Where to watch the Tour de France 2014 in London: Tour de France Fan Parks

Apart from the Olympic Park, there are two other official spectator venues - the Tour de France Fan Parks on Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 - the London equivalent of spectator hubs, which are at Green Park and Trafalgar Square. (There's also a Fan Park at Canary Wharf, but it opens at a later date, 24th to 27th July, for the end of the Tour).

They'll all have big screens to watch the event, food and drink available, and entertainment. They are family-friendly venues.

Where to watch Stage Three, Tour de France 2014: the finish on The Mall

Buckingham Palace from The Mall

The stage finishes on The Mall, the riders coming up Birdcage Walk, along Spur Road, past the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, and towards the finish part way along The Mall. There are sure to be throngs of spectators. To see the rest of the stage on a big screen, head to the Tour de France Fan Parks at Green Park or Trafalgar Square.

There'll also be lots of cycling enthusiasts just lining the route through London.

Tour de France in London: race timings

Stage 3 of the Tour de France starts at 12.15 in Cambridge. There are three scenarios, based on average speeds of 43, 45, and 47kmh. The riders will cross into Greater London between 2.55 and 3.09pm, depending on their speed (with the publicity caravan starting to pass by about 2 hours before). 

The riders get to the Olympic Park between 3.11 and 3.26pm, the Houses of Parliament between 3.40 and 3.58pm, and to the finish on The Mall between 3.42 and 4.01pm. 

See the full timings for Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014.

Tour de France in London: road closures

A104 Leyton, London

The broad timing of road closures on the Tour route in London is 10am to 6pm, according to the TFL Tour de France travel & disruption page. The general advice on driving is only to drive if there's no alternative, avoid areas near the event route, plan ahead, consider re-timing your journey, and allow more time than usual. Other points on driving include:

  • there may be some closures before 10am where barriers need to be put up
  • there are no closures on key strategic roads (A11, A12, A13, M25, A406 North Circular, and Rotherhithe & Blackwall tunnels), but displaced traffic from the Tour route may make other areas busier than normal
  • parking is suspended on the Tour route and some surrounding roads
  • driving to airports may be difficult, particularly to City Airport, where public transport is recommended

TFL have a status updates page, with a map showing the route and road closures. There's also a pdf of traffic impact maps (unfortunately, you have to tilt your head 90 degrees to read them).

There'll be diversions to certain bus routes. Most tube and rail services will run as normal, but the Circle and District lines are expected to be very busy, as are stations along the route, especially in Zone 1 and from midday to 6pm. 

Cycle Hire docking stations on and near the Tour route may be suspended.