WITH the Tour de France less than five weeks away, preparations in Chelmsford are well advanced to welcome one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Le Tour will roll through the city and other parts of Essex on Monday, July 7, in its final UK leg before heading into France.

Riders are expected to enter the Chelmsford area just after 2pm, by the B1008, taking in roads including Howe Street, Woodhall Hill, Vicarage Road and Elms Road before leaving for the Epping Forest District.

Essex County Council has now sent an eight-page leaflet to every household outlining details on the tour’s route, travel advice and facts on the world’s most famous bike ride.

Ann Naylor, councillor responsible for public health and wellbeing, said: “The Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and having it come here is a great honour.

I know people across the county are excited about it and will want to get involved.”

Britain’s Chris Froome, pictured, won the Tour last year, and spectators will hope to see him riding again this time.

Fans hoping to see his Team Sky team-mate and Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins, however, might be left disappointed, after Froome said he would prefer Australian Richie Porte to be his number two.

On Saturday, July 5, there will be a Tour family fun day in Melbourne Park, including free bike trials and rides.

For more information, visit www.LeTourEssex.com