The Yorkshire town of Harrogate and three locations in London will host official Tour de France Fan Parks in July to coincide with the Grand Départ of the race, while a fourth location in the capital will follow for the closing days of the 101st edition. Each venue will be open for several days, and besides big screens there will be other activities to help fans get into the spirit of the race.
The concept was first launched at Canary Wharf in London last year, attracting 30,000 visitors, and according to Tour de France organisers ASO it has been extended to meet the “enthusiastic demand” from fans of the race here.
The Fan Parks are being sponsored by Nuffield Health, and are free to attend, although corporate hospitality VIP packages are also on their way. The locations, and the dates they are open, are :
The Fan Parks are in addition to the spectator hubs announced last month, and which will vary in scale of activities and days of operation, some being open only for one day.
Besides giving people a chance to watch the race on the big screen, each Fan Park will have entertainment such as cinema nights and party nights, exhibitions on the Tour de France, activities related to the race, retail outlets, cafes and bars.
Experts from Nuffield Health will also be on hand to give advice on training and nutrition, and the healthcare charity will be represented in the Tour de France caravan that precedes the race.
Its managing director wellbeing, Dr Andy Jones, said: “With the explosion of UK cycling, due to the successes of riders like Bradley Wiggins and Olympians Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, this year's Tour de France is a great opportunity to get the British public excited about an activity, that as well as being great fun, benefits your overall health.
“As an organisation dedicated to wellbeing, the Fan Parks are a huge opportunity for us to engage with people about their health. We'll be at the events encouraging people to stay fit and healthy in fun ways, including challenges, competitions, outdoor classes and health checks, as the more we can motivate people to take an active interest in their wellbeing, the better it is for the health of the nation.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.