Cycle Hire bikes go yellow as countdown to Tour de France begins

27 March 2014

With only 100 days left until the Tour de France arrives in the UK, London is gearing up for the return of the world’s largest cycling road race.

To mark the occasion, the Mayor has released 101 special-edition yellow Barclays Cycle Hire bikes into general circulation across London. The 101 yellow bikes, which represent the 101st Tour de France to take place, will be available until the Tour arrives in London on the 7th July 2014. With around 10,000 Cycle Hire bikes covering over 100km² of the capital, users have just over a 1 in 100 chance of hiring one of the special yellow bikes.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Much like the clamour for the golden tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate factory people across the capital will now be on a frantic search for these beautiful yellow bikes. I am sure Londoners will share my excitement at once again welcoming the Tour to London. Go find a yellow bike and dream of whizzing along the Champs-Élysées wearing the Yellow Jersey. Chapeau!”

Cycling fans are expected to turn out en masse to see the Tour de France when it reaches London on 7th July 2014 as part of a three-day visit to Britain. 200 riders will set out from Cambridge, entering London through Epping Forest before completing a circuit of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They will then ride through the East End before turning westwards along the Thames. Buckingham Palace will then form the backdrop to the climax of the three day event as riders sprint up The Mall.

It is seven years since London hosted the ‘Grand Depart’ of the Tour de France and the Mayor hopes that the capital will enjoy an economic windfall of tens of millions as a direct result of hosting the prestigious Tour once again.

Spectators will be able to watch the elite cycling action along the route and also at three official Tour de France fan parks sites at Green Park, Trafalgar Square and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The fan park sites will feature a wide range of different activities such as live Tour de France racing on the big screen, a French-style food market, a Tour de France Museum, interactive cycling activities, an outdoor cinema, live music, celebrity appearances and shops showcasing all of the latest bike equipment and accessories. Team London volunteers will also be on hand across all the fan park sites to help spectators with local travel information and directions.

The Mayor remains committed to ensuring London retains its status as the world capital of sport, but recognises the need for a balanced approach to ensure everyone can benefit from major events whilst keeping London moving. That is why he has set up a Major Events Oversight Board to assess and monitor the impact of major sporting events in the capital. This will ensure that any major events that we decide to host in our city will not only have a clear and demonstrable benefit to London, but also that any resulting disruption will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Christian Prudhomme, director of Le Tour, said: “The Grand Départ from Yorkshire will lead the world’s elite cyclists back to The Mall, seven years to the day after the Tour de France first came to London. We are proud to see that cycling and the Tour de France are being celebrated throughout the country.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London, said: “Not everyone is as athletic as the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish or Chris Froome to experience the rush of air at 50mph plus on tyres less than an inch wide. However, they can experience the same streets as the elite on one of these limited edition yellow Cycle Hire bikes. Go find one, go ride one, and get ready; because in 100 days le Tour returns.”

Sir Rodney, Chairman of TdFHUB2014 Ltd said: “The opening  three stages of the Tour will be the biggest ever free sporting event in Britain. From the Yorkshire Dales to the Mall, via Cambridge, we are  ready to welcome the world this summer for what promises to be a fantastic sporting spectacle.”

The Tour starts its three day visit to Britain on Saturday July 5, with a 120-mile leg from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park. On day two, riders will go from York to Sheffield before travelling by car to Cambridge ready for the start of day three. The world’s greatest cyclists will then arrive in the capital via Essex.

If you spot one of our special yellow bikes between now and when the tour arrives tweet a picture to @TfLOfficial using #LDNyellowbike. For more information on the Tour de France and where to stay in London visit letourinlondon.com or follow @letourinlondon on Twitter.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The Mayor is committed to ensuring London retains its status as the world capital of sport, and has recently set up the Major Events Oversight Board to advise the Mayor on major events in the capital. The board will be chaired by Sir Edward Lister, and will comprise of TfL, the emergency services and other key partner agencies to provide strategic direction and advice to the Mayor in the approach to bidding, staging and evaluating major events in London. The board will ensure that all major road events continue to be carefully considered and tightly managed to ensure that we get the full benefit from the event without undue impact on Londoners and London’s transport. Further, this Board will look at ways to ensure that there is effective communication of the major events programme with Londoners, visitors, businesses and stakeholders alike, to allow sufficient notice and forward planning for everyone.
  2. TfL is undertaking an extensive programme of public engagement and communication regarding the arrival of the Tour de France.  This is designed to ensure people living and working in London can understand the potential impacts of the Tour and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.  The engagement activities include leaflet drops to residents and businesses along the route, work with the local boroughs, local business engagement events and public information sessions.
  3. Tube and rail will be the best way to get around the affected areas of London on the day, although stations along and around the route, particularly the finish at the Mall, will be extremely busy.
  4. The detailed route is now available on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk/tourdefrance. In early summer the website will be updated to include a full list of road closures and timings. To avoid delays drivers are advised to, wherever possible, avoid areas near the event routes in the affected parts of Cambridgeshire, Essex and London. For up to date information on how transport services are operating, check before you travel at tfl.gov.uk and follow @TfLTravelAlerts (Tube, DLR and London Overground), @TfLTrafficNews (roads) and @TfLBusAlerts (bus).
  5. The Tour de France will kick off a spectacular summer of cycling in London, with the exciting event followed by Prudential RideLondon on the 9th and 10th August and then the Tour of Britain, which traditionally finishes in the capital, taking place between 7th – 14th September.
  6. This summer’s cycling windfall is likely to inspire thousands more Londoners to take to two wheels, building on the Mayor’s ambition for cycling to be an integral part of the transport network. As part of his cycling vision, the Mayor is already engaging in a vast £1billion programme of improvements  - creating a series of enhanced cycling superhighways, urban ‘quietways’ for more cautious cyclists, and turning some outer boroughs into mini-Hollands.
  7. The Tour de France is the world's largest annual sporting event and covers approximately 3,500kms. A worldwide television audience of 3.5billion people watch the event annually. 190 countries around the world broadcast the Tour de France and there are 5,000 hours of TV coverage annually. The last time the Tour visited England was in 2007 when London hosted the Grand Départ, which is the opening of the race.
  8. For more information on the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/how-we-work/planning-for-the-future/vision-for-cycling

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