Thousands of people lined the streets of Waltham Forest today to watch the Tour de France as cyclists sped through the borough

This Is Local London: 'Jesus' on a bike made at St Peter's in the Forest in Walthamstow 'Jesus' on a bike made at St Peter's in the Forest in Walthamstow

Roads in Waltham Forest have now re-opened to traffic after a day of closures for the Tour de France.

Thousands of people poured onto pavements across the borough today to try and catch a glimpse of the world’s biggest cycling event.

Live music, bands and entertainers kept crowds of people young and old cheering along Lea Bridge Road from 12pm.

Elsewhere in the borough, thousands more gathered at Leyton Green and Whipps Cross Roundabout.

In Leyton crowds erupted as the cyclists came through.

Gavin Punchard and Kate Hall came to Leyton from Exeter to watch the race. Mr Punchard has followed the tour before and did not want to miss it in the UK.

He said: “I’m a tour enthusiast. It has been great already, but a shame about Cavendish.

“It’s such a wonderful atmosphere here in Leyton. It’s great.”

Sara James, 32, of Grove Road waited for two hours with two of her children along Lea Bridge Road.

She said: “I think it’s really important for the kids to see the race.

“They’re getting a little bit restless, but I think they will love it when they see how fast they are going."

“It’s a nice chance for everybody to get together and see it.”

Sam Brandon, 7, and Angelina Ezeh, 5, had balloon hats and bikes made for them.

They both said that they were ‘really excited’ for the ‘very fast’ bikes.

Carole Graham, 54, of Forest Road came with her grandchildren.

“It’s fantastic. To see so many people have come out to watch, it's great. You can’t move down here.”

Father Paul Trathen at St Peter’s in the Forest Church said that the church in Woodford New Road was chosen as the location for ‘hundreds’ of spectators.

A statue of Jesus riding a bike was made for the occasion.

 

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