UK & World News

  • 7 July 2014, 21:22

Dramatic End To Tour De France In London

The Tour de France bid a dramatic au revoir to the UK as one million people turned out to watch the race from Cambridge to Buckingham Palace.

Tens of thousands of spectators watched a high-speed crash in wet conditions outside Big Ben, while a spectator was hit by a rider outside the Olympic Park.

The last of the three English stages ended with the same winner as Saturday's opener in Yorkshire -Giant-Shimano's German sprinter Marcel Kittelwas first tothe line on the Mall.

After the race, the riders headed to France on four chartered planes from London City Airport.

After glorious weather in Yorkshire, the first rainfall of the race arrived after the riders passed the Olympic Park in East London.

And the rain made the final approach slippery and dangerous, with the high-speed crash happening on a right-hand bend by Big Ben.

In another accident, a spectator was hit by a rider as the fan attempted to take a picture near east London's Olympic Park.

The fan was clipped by Team Sky's Diego Lopez Garcia, knocking him to the ground, along with Garcia and fellow riders Andy Schleck, Simon Gerrans and two others.

The extent of the fan's injuries are unknown.

The accident came after some riders criticised British fans for stepping into the road and taking "selfies".

American rider Tejay van Garderen, of BMC Racing, said on Twitter: "A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity. Standing [in] the middle of the road with you[r] back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014."

He added: "That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room."

Meanwhile, Kittel compared winning in London to triumphing on the Champs- Elysees in Paris last year.

"Winning on The Mall, that's what I dreamed of but, even though I had a good chance to make it come true, it's not something I could take for granted," he said.

"It's really fantastic to win here. On the finishing line, the crowd was fantastic. I love the atmosphere."

Slovak Peter Sagan was second, with Australian Mark Renshaw in third. Italian Vincenzo Nibali kept the race leader's yellow jersey.

Defending champion Chris Froome, of Team Sky, negotiated a tricky opening in fifth place after finishing 28th in London.

But fellow British rider Mark Cavendishwill undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday and will be out for around for six weeks after a crash on Saturday.

Earlier on Monday, crowds lined the streets of Cambridge to watch the start of the third stage. Riders passed King's College before the race began innearby Trumpington.

The 197 riders then passed through picturesque villages in Essex shortly after 1pm before heading into the capital.

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