TOUR de France organisers were impressed with the state of Essex’s roads when they drove along the route, a highways chief claims.

Essex will host the third stage of this year’s race on July 7, as more than 200 riders speed through the county including Chelmsford.

Potholes have littered roads in Essex including large ones along Chignal Road and Roxwell Road which make up part of the route Chris Froome and co will ride along.

But road bosses admit the organisers’ tour of our roads took place before recent wet weather, which has caused additional cracks to form.

Liz Burr, Essex Highways’ head of network and safety, said: “When they drove the route, they were actually quite pleased with the roads.

“The only requirement is that the road is up to normal maintenance standards.

“If we have got works due in August, for instance, let’s do it in June.”