PICTURESQUE Essex will be put on the world’s map on July 7 according to the Tour de France’s chief.

Christian Prudhomme lavished praise on the county as he made a whistle stop visit ahead of the 2014 edition of the famous race arrival.

The globe’s top riders will pedal from Cambridge to London for stage three of the tour won last year by Britain’s Chris Froome with Essex being en-route before the finish on The Mall.

Prudhomme who has been general director of the race since 2007 said he fully expects the day to be a success when the county is graced by the cyclists.

The 53-year-old Frenchman said: “My stay here is only short but from what I have seen there are some very picturesque villages in Essex which is a big reason we have decided to come here.

“I think it will be a perfect stage for sprinters as it is flat but also the viewers watching on TV will like it because of the scenery which will be shown from our cameras.

“Many people will come to watch the tour and the race is also shown in 190 countries around the world, so Essex will be put on the map for sure.”

He went onto say he believes due to the flatness of the route, home fans will be in a good chance of rejoicing as it will suit British riders like Mark Cavendish.

With this year being the second time in seven years the race has started in Britain, Prudhomme said it may not be the last time the tour visits Essex.

“Only a couple of years before the Grand Depart in London back in 2007, no-one thought it would be popular,” he said.

“But it was an unforgettable occasion.

“I honestly never thought we would be back so soon, but with the way the sport has grown in the UK it was a sensible choice.

“If it continues to grow, I cannot see why it would not return to Britain and Essex.”