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Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets this afternoon as up to 200 of the world's greatest cyclists pass through for the legendary Tour de France. 

Significant disruption to travel is expected for hours as road closures take effect from 10am up until 6pm or possibly earlier in Waltham Forest and Redbridge 

Roads north of the A414/Epping Road will be closed from 8am and roads between the A406 and the A414 will be closed from 9am. They are all expected to re-open from 5pm in time for the evening rush-hour.  

The main closures in place include North Weald, Epping High Street, Epping New Road, High Road, Woodford Green, Woodford New Road, Whipps Cross Road, Lea Bridge Road and Orient Way.

All side roads along the main route or up to 400m either side will also be closed so motorists and users of public transport should seek an alternative route, cycle or walk. 

Waterworks roundabout will be closed from 9am until after the route re-opens after 4pm. 

Over a dozen schools in Redbridge are closed or partially closed primarily due to the Tour passing outside the school's locations. 

The 200 cyclists are estimated to start the sprint section at Epping High Street at 2:30pm, however there will also be a number of support vehicles and sponsors of the Tour coming through from 12 noon.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets from midday as the world-famous publicity caravan passes through Epping at around 1pm, Woodford at 1:10pm, and Walthamstow 10 minutes later.

According to the sporting event organisers, 47 per cent of spectators come primarily for the caravan, the celebration of the parade and free advertising gifts. 

The Metropolitan Police are advising people to check before they travel. 

Chief Superintendent Colin Morgan, said: "An event like this will inevitably attract tens of thousands of people keen to get a glimpse of the riders and soak up the atmosphere.

"Our message to those people coming is, as always, to be prepared, look after your valuables, check the weather, plan your journey and please follow the direction of the event stewards."

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