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28 February 2014, 10:55 | Updated: 28 February 2014, 11:02
The official Tour de France Grand Départ trophy is coming to Cambridge tomorrow, ahead of a tour of the county to celebrate the world’s biggest sporting event coming to the city.
The trophy, commissioned by the ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) who organise Le Tour de France and designed by award-winning French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is held each year by the area or city hosting the start of the legendary cycle race.
So far the trophy has visited areas of Yorkshire and Essex before coming to Cambridgeshire this weekend.
The trophy will be on public display at the Grand Arcade during store trading hours from Saturday 1 March through to Monday 3 March before heading out on a tour of schools, clubs and leisure centres throughout the county before it continues its journey to London on Friday 7 March.
Cllr Noel Kavanagh – Cycling Champion at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "It is fantastic to have the Grand Départ trophy coming to Cambridge and the county for a week’s tour.
It is a wonderful symbol of Le Tour de France which we were determined to make available for as many people as possible to see.
This is why it will be in the Grand Arcade for three days so shoppers, visitors and residents can get the chance to have their photo taken next to the trophy.
From there we felt it was essential that we took it to local schools and cycling events across the county so everyone – young and old – could be inspired by it."
Executive Councillor for Community Well-being, Councillor Sarah Brown at Cambridge City Council, said: "Hosting the Grand Départ trophy is just one of the many highlights for Cambridge of holding the start of Stage 3 of Le Tour de France.
It is an amazing piece of artwork in its own right but as the UK capital of cycling with so many of us getting around Cambridge every day on our bikes – it feels extra special to have it.
With just over 120 days to go before the famous race comes to Cambridge, we are all hard at work to make sure it is an event which will live long in the memories of all who experience it.
So we hope as many people as possible take the chance to see and have their photo taken with the trophy either at the Grand Arcade or on its tour around the county."
The Grand Départ will race from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, York to Sheffield on July 6, and a third stage will travel from Cambridge to London on July 7.
Beginning on Gonville Place by Parker’s Piece, the peloton will ride through the city centre, past the world famous colleges of St John’s, Trinity and King’s as they cycle along King’s Parade and Trumpington Street before leaving the city via Trumpington Road.
The peloton will then race through South Cambridgeshire via the A1301 before leaving the county via Saffron Walden and through Essex towards London to finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
In the build up to the arrival of the Tour, detailed information will be given to residents, businesses and visitors regarding the impact of the race on Cambridge and the county.