Children, residents and traders are filled with Tour de France fever as preparations are underway for some of the world’s best riders to pass through the district.

The famous race will pass through Finchingfield, Wethersfield, Shalford, Great Saling and Rayne on Monday and most of the schools on the route are closing for the day so children can make the most of the largest free spectator sporting event in the world.

Finchingfield Primary School, Wethersfield Primary School and Rayne Primary School will all be closed for the day.

Charlotte Daynes, headteacher at Finchingfield Primary School, said: “We have explored all the other options and we did think about opening the school early or having a biker’s breakfast then we found about the road closure timings and the amount of people coming to the village.

“Because our children and our staff come from a wide radius around Finchingfield we felt it would be better for the parents to view it with their children so we are closing for the day.”

Prior to the big day, the schoolchildren have decorated flags and wind socks to display throughout the village.

Pupils at Rayne Primary School, in Capel Road, Rayne, are bringing their own bikes into school this week to learn more about security and take part in mini races.

See this week's Braintree and Witham Times for the full story.