Thousands of people cheered and waved as the Tour de France travelled through the Braintree district on the third stage of the world famous cycling race.

The normally quiet villages of Finchingfield and Rayne turned into bustling hubs of excitement on Monday as residents and visitors from around the county came out in force, armed with flags, banners and posters.

A big screen was set up in the middle of Finchingfield’s village green alongside a marquee packed with food stalls and face painting.

Residents even held parties in their front gardens to celebrate the once in a lifetime event.

See this week's Braintree and Witham Times for a full picture spread.