The Tour de France will be passed through Horsmonden in 2007 tour, having previously featured in 1994.
Cllr Melvyn Howell, the Mayor, Cllr Jennie Paulson-Ellis, and senior officers attended the launch of the Tour de France, 2007, in London, at the QEII conference centre. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, French dignitaries and over 200 guests, including at host of broadcast media, attended.
The biggest annual sporting event in the world, the Tour de France, will start in London in 2007, coming to the UK capital for the first time in its 100-year history. The Grand Depart, the start of the Tour, will come to London and Kent over three days during the weekend 6-8 July, 2007 and is expected to attract more than a million visitors to London and Kent, providing significant tourism and economic benefit to the region (it is estimated that it will bring in at least £75 million to London alone).
The three days of the Grand Depart include the Tour de France opening ceremony, Prologue and Stage One. The Prologue on Saturday, 7 July will be an eight kilometre (5 miles) lap of central London, starting in Whitehall, taking in some of Londonâ€™s most famous landmarks including Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and finishing on the Mall.
Stage One, on Sunday, 8 July, will start in central London, passing close to a variety of historic and contemporary sites including Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paulâ€™s Cathedral, the Gherkin and crossing Tower Bridge close to City Hall.
The race will then travel through Bermondsey, Deptford, Greenwich and Erith before travelling to Kent. In Kent the Tour will pass through Dartford, Medway, Maidstone, Tonbridge, Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Brenchley, Horsmonden, Goudhurst, Sissinghurst, Tenterden and Ashford before the stage finish in Canterbury.
Cllr Melvyn Howell said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that the world’s biggest sporting event, the Tour de France, is coming back to Tunbridge Wells again following its highly successful visit here in 1994. I hope as many people as possible will turn out on the Sunday with their families to give the riders a rapturous welcome. It should be a really great day out and will give our beautiful borough the high profile abroad that it deserves. The event will give local businesses a real boost and we will do all we can to support it.”