The world’s top cyclists set off from Dover when a stage of the Tour de France was held in England for only the second time in 1994.

Stages four and five of that year’s race took place on the English south coast as part of the celebrations to mark the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

Chris Boardman, individual pursuit gold medal winner at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, carried British hopes having briefly worn the yellow jersey after his record-breaking time-trial win the prologue.

But stage four, a 128-mile course from Dover to Brighton, was won by Spain’s Francisco Cabello, while Italy’s Nicola Minali triumphed in stage five, a 116-mile course, which started and finished in Portsmouth.

The Tour de France had first been staged in England in 1974 in celebration of the United Kingdom’s entry into the Common Market.

Stage two of that year’s Tour, a 102-mile course which started and finished in Plymouth, was won by Dutch rider Henk Poppe.

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