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|Tour de France Gets Royal Back-Drop|
- London’s royal parks and palaces form the main route
THE LONDON leg of this year's Tour de France has been finalized, with with some major central London landmarks ready to provide a suitably regal back-drop to one of the crowning glories of world sport.
London's big day is 7 July, when it hosts an 8km prologue through the streets of the capital, including Whitehall, Buckingham Gate and The Mall. Riders will also pedal their bikes through both Green Park and Hyde Park.
The day before is the opening ceremony – held on Trafalgar Square – while the day after sees the Tour wend its way from London down through Kent towards the Channel.
The Tour de France's venture to London is seen by mayor Ken Livingstone as a chance to promote cycling in everyday life. The idea is that the publicity generated this summer will help Livingstone meet his own target of upping cycling in the capital by 80 per cent between 2000 and 2020. So far, a rise of about 20 per cent has been achieved.
More info on the tour at www.tourdefrancelondon.com
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