Why is ‘Le Tour’ coming to Cambridge?

This article was published in 2014, in Newsletter 114.

Well, I do not know as I was not involved in the discussions, but here are some light-hearted reasons why it should. (Many of these points may have been made before.)

Inside the Outspoken stand in front of Great St. Mary’s Church in Cambridge for the Tour de France 2014 route announcement event. It starts in Cambridge and passes here on its way to London on 7th July 2014. Lots of passers-by enjoyed smoothie making, the bike-powered scalextric and the free bike check.
Image as described adjacent

‘Because Cambridge is known as a cycling city.’

‘Because Cambridge is a very well-known city and, with the university, it is very prestigious for the Tour.’

‘Because the publicity people cannot resist the idea of getting a photo of the peloton in front of King’s College.’

Because Cambridge is flat unlike parts of the route in France!’

‘Because Cambridge politicians asked nicely.’

‘Because Cambridge politicians lobbied hard.’

‘Because someone realised that if the Tour de France came to Cambridge the council would have to improve the cycle routes – or at least those used by the Tour de France.’

‘Because it is an opportunity to attract thousands of visitors to Cambridge to spend lots of money.’

‘Because, as the general director of the Tour de France said, the visit of the race to Cambridge would inspire a new generation of cyclists.’

Whatever the reasons, and there were no doubt many good arguments, the Tour de France will help raise the profile of cycling, not just as a sport or for leisure cyclists but as a practical, efficient and convenient means of getting around, particularly in a fairly compact, fairly flat city. We trust that everyday cyclists, whether leisure or utility, will remember that they are not riding in the Tour de France and will cycle with consideration for other road users and for pedestrians. So enjoy the event!

Monica Frisch