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Up to 5 million spectators at TDF in UK - Sir Rodney Walker

22nd April 2014

Cyclist on Butter Tubs pass

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of TDF Hub 2014 Ltd, the company organising the Tour de France in the UK, expects up to 5 million spectators for the three stages.

Interviewed in the Independent, Sir Rodney said that people need to do a bit of planning if they want to watch the race. 'One of the things we have already begun to talk about but we will ratchet up significantly in the next eight to nine weeks, is to tell people: do not expect to wake up on a nice sunny day in early July and say 'shall we go and watch...', because it won't happen. Unless you have made up your mind and got within the vicinity at least a day before, you won't get to see it. That's why there are so many campsites opening up along the route.'

The article reveals the number of spectators anticipated at some locations:

Walker believes the Tour de France is good value for money. 'I would defy anyone to find another sporting event that is free - you can't charge, you are not allowed to have any sponsors because the ASO have all the sponsors. We might have anything up to four and five million spectators and you are going to get that for £27m. I would defy you to find me anything that is comparable.'

'If you were to ask me the question of how do I feel with 80 days to go I would say I feel to be in control of what we know and what we can control. But I'm not stupid enough not to realise there will be things arise that we don't yet know about that we will have to deal with. The weather is one. If it is like it was in 2012 we will be doing detours because there were floods on the road. You just don't know. But we are prepared.'

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd recently produced its second readiness report, which said that preparations for the Tour were on track.