On 7th July 1994 Portsmouth hosted the start and finish of one of the two British legs of Le Tour De France. Portsmouth was the only city outside of Paris to ever host the start and finish of a leg of the race. The cyclists were preceded by a cavalcade of lorries, cars and other vehicles advertising various products and English and French Police. The cyclists started at Southsea Common and wound their way through the city along Goldsmith Avenue and onto the Eastern Road where the warm-up ended and the actual race began. The race then wound out of the city and while it was away there was other entertainment.
The attractions included old bicycles being ridden along the seafront, the Red Arrows display team, the local radio transmitting from the sea front, many of the teams vehicles were parked and could be looked at. Then the cyclists re-entered the city and wound their way beck to the common where the race ended. The whole event had been started by a parachute team dropping in. The above picture shows the cyclists as they near the end of the race, and as can be seen they are still well bunched together
The above photograph shows one of the formations the Red Arrows used in their display over Southsea during Le Tour. The Le Tour was a great success with hundreds of thousands of people lining the route and gathering to see the finish, it should not be long before it is back.
You can find up to date information about Le Tour De France at the following link www.letour.fr