Redbridge businesses and residents embrace 'captivating' Tour De France

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Le Tour de France passes through Redbridge today around 3.30pm. Le Tour de France passes through Redbridge today around 3.30pm.

Redbridge played host to the ‘captivating’ Tour de France today with crowds of people lining the route.

From Epping, the cyclists raced through High Road, Woodford Green, at approximately 3.30pm, then heading on to Woodford New Road, South Woodford.

Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge council, was proud the tour cut through the borough.

He said: “There is something quite captivating about the Tour de France.

“For me it’s about the power of human endeavour, of people pushing themselves to the limits and showing what’s possible if we really put our minds to it. 

“Events like the Tour de France are a demonstration of what passion, hard work and dedication can achieve.”

Businesses selling food and drink along the route were seeing trade boom with queues a common feature of the day.

Sue Musiu, owner of Ristorante Adriatico, said: "We love these community events and are hoping to do some good trade today.

“I must confess to knowing nothing about the Tour de France but look at the crowds, it is a great event and everyone is in a good mood.”

Bar manager of Woodford Green Cricket Club Geoff Hawkes said: "This beer isn't going to last, we are expecting to have run out at 3.45pm.

“It really is a fantastic event and we are proud to host the tour, it is special for it to be here."

Residents along the route were getting into the spirit too, Andy Colthart decked out his house with retro cyclist shirts and flags.

He said: "It is fantastic, the only time it is a positive thing to live on a main road! 

"We invited loads of people over for a party, it is a great atmosphere and we are making the most of it."

Police confirmed a spectator was hit by one of the cyclists in Woodford New Road, South Woodford, near Napier Arms Pub.

Germany’s Marcel Kittel eventually won the stage three in a sprint finish down the Mall in central London.
 

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