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Tour de France coming back to Britain

By Etienne Bennequin

On 5th July, the Tour de France will find its starting point in England for the second time since its inception. In 2007 the Grand Départ took place in London, and nine years earlier it began in Dublin. This relation between England and the Tour is quite a recent one considering the age of the race. It was only in 1974 that the competitors were first able to ride in England; it was in Plymouth.

This year, the racers will run from Leeds to Harrogate for the first “Etape”, which should please the sprinters. Then, starting in York, they will encounter some hills to climb before arriving in Sheffield.

After this Tour de Yorkshire, the third stage will link Cambridge to London. The contenders will cross Epping forest and the Olympic Park, after which audiences will be able to admire London’s iconic sights as the race passes Tower Bridge and the Tower of London before leaving the river at Big Ben and Westminster Abbey to finish at Buckingham Palace where the race will end in England and move to France for the next stage.

Considering that Chris Froome who won last year and came second the year before will try to retain his title and Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to ever win the Tour the previous year, it isn’t farfetched to think that the winner this year could once again be British. In order to defeat his main rival Alberto Contador, Froome will have to rely on his team Sky that have made a great come back and are now as fit as they were two years ago. Of course, the support of the British home crowd will surely help him on his way for the first three stages.


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