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Tour de France excitement building in Woodford
Last week’s announcement that the Tour de France will pass through Woodford when it comes to Britain next year is creating excitement.
The third stage of the bicycle race will speed through the area on July 7 with the riders powering their way into Woodford Green from the Epping New Road, along High Road and then Woodford New Road in South Woodford towards Waltham Forest.
Trevor Benson, 66, General Secretary of Redbridge Cycling Club, said: “I will be down to watch it and I imagine everyone else will be, too.
“I watched the prologue on the Mall back in 2007 and it was fantastic, but to see it in Redbridge will be something else.
“Hopefully we’ll get a few new members out of the interest that it creates.”
The sport of cycling has never been more popular than it is now.
Much of that is down to the success of Britain’s riders during the Olympics and Paralympics and Bradley Wiggins triumph in last year’s Tour.
Cycle repair man David Farr, 32, lives in High Road, and is looking forward to seeing the likes of Wiggins and Mark Cavendish so near to home.
He said: “I’m a massive cycling fan and I do around 50 miles a week.
“The Olympics was amazing and while I didn’t get to the Velodrome I did see the road race in Parliament Square.”
As well as bicycle repairs Mr Farr sells electric bikes through his company Nip Nip and trains disadvantaged young adults in bicycle maintenance.
He said: “I really hope this gives more people in Woodford a kick to start cycling.
“You can commute to the city in 40 minutes by bike. That’s the same as it takes on the tube.”
It is not only cycling fans who are looking forward to the arrival of the tour in Woodford Green, though.
Merril Clarke runs O’Grady’s sandwich shop in High Road, and was delighted to hear that the World’s top cyclists will pass her shop.
She said: “If the lights change Bradley Wiggins can pop in for a salt beef sandwich if he likes!
“I watched all the Olympics and loved every second of it, so it’s very exciting to think such a prestigious event is coming to Woodford Green.
“I’m looking forward to all the crowds. Hopefully it will be good for business and we’ll be very busy.
“It’s great news for the area. Bring it on!”
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