London Eye (Picture: City of London)
London, a vibrant, thriving, culturally and ethnically diverse world city, home to over 7 million, with both instantly recognisable historical buildings and backdrops, along with many modern iconic landmarks, is an excellent venue for the Grand Départ. The Prologue course has been designed to go past some of the Capital’s most famous and recognisable locations in the world. From Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Downing Street, the Cenotaph, past the World Heritage sites of Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and then passing by Buckingham Palace, through Wellington Arch and into London’s Royal Parks (Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Green Park) - at every turn there are images of well known London sights as well as displays of its rich and centuries old history.
Picture: City of London
Bringing the Grand Départ to London is part of the Mayor of London’s campaign to increase cycling in the capital by inspiring people to take to two wheels. London is a great place to cycle. Cycling is a fun, easy, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. The number of people cycling on London’s major roads has soared by 83 per cent since 2000. There are lots of new cycle routes across the capital and with around 680,000 cyclists on London’s roads every day, new cyclists will be in good company. Cycling is an inexpensive, non-polluting way to get to work, school or the shops, as well as a great way to explore the capital. We believe the Tour de France will inspire more Londoners to use their bicycles to get around. Indeed, for triple Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins, watching the 1994 UK stage of the Tour motivated him to take up professional cycling, and the rest is history!