Hot on the heels of incredible success for Team GB’s cycling superstars, and accompanied by double gold medal winning cyclist Laura Trott, the Mayor of London has confirmed plans for the capital to host a two day world class festival of cycling next year. The weekend festival will be known as RideLondon and will feature a series of events for amateur, club and world elite cyclists.
Today the Mayor confirmed that RideLondon will take place over the weekend beginning 3 August 2013 and that it will be managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, a joint venture between the organisers of the London Marathon and The Tour of Britain. It is predicted that the weekend festival could attract over 200,000 visitors from outside the capital, lead to a major boost in cycling numbers and generate tens of millions of pounds in economic benefit.
Online registration is now open for cyclists to register their interest in RideLondon, which will open with a family fun ride for up to 70,000 cyclists on an eight mile loop of closed roads around London’s iconic landmarks. The following day a 100 mile road ride for up to 20,000 amateur, club and world class elite cyclists will take place that begins in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race. Women’s elite, junior cyclists and hand cycles will also take to the streets of the capital to compete in a city centre grand prix.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This year London has been the place to be and yet again this amazing city has proved its expertise in hosting major world class sporting and cultural events. Our challenge is to ensure that 2012 is just the start, not the end of the benefits of hosting the Games. We must create long lasting opportunities for the Olympic Park and the capital, which will showcase London to the world, attract more visitors, create more jobs and support the economy. We also need to capitalise on the incredible achievements of Team GB’s Olympic cyclists whose superhuman efforts will inspire thousands more Londoners to take to two wheels. I urge every Londoner and cycle fanatics from all over the country, if not the world, to mark the weekend of 3 August 2013 in their diaries for what I believe will become one of the world’s number one cycling events.”
RideLondon will aim to be the largest charity fund-raising cycle ride in the world and organisers will be able to draw on the vast experience of the London Marathon team within the partnership. Since its foundation participants in the London Marathon have raised over half a billion pounds for good causes and in 2011 they raised a staggering £51.8 million.
Detailed routes for the RideLondon events will be revealed later in the year taking into consideration lessons learned from the 2012 Games. The finish for all the RideLondon events will be on The Mall subject to approval of final details.
The international promotion associated with what will become an annual cycling festival will bring millions of pounds of economic benefit into London through national and international participation plus hundreds of thousands of spectators and worldwide TV audiences. It will provide a long term source of income for investment into improving conditions for cycling in London and provide opportunities to channel people to other cycling initiatives.
Laura Trott, Double Olympic track cycling champion, said: "It's been amazing the way the British public have really got behind Team GB and cycling in general during the last few weeks. I’ve been completely blown away by how many people have come out to support us. The crowd noise in the Velodrome was something I will never forget. It’s great to think we may have inspired people to get on their bikes and RideLondon is a great opportunity for the public to get out and join us on the roads. Cycling has always been a huge part of my family’s life and I hope that having watched the Games lots more people will be encouraged to have a go.”
Nick Bitel of London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, said: We are very pleased to have been chosen to deliver this event on behalf of London, particularly as it will be the first direct sporting legacy from the London Olympics. With our combined expertise and technical knowledge of organising elite cycling and mass participation events, LSCP expect to deliver a world class festival weekend of cycling open to amateurs, club and the worlds best cyclists. We already know from our charity partners that this event will be a great opportunity to help raise funds for British charities and we will aim to make this the world’s largest charity fund-raising cycle event.
Brian Cookson OBE, President of British Cycling and UCI management committee member, said: “The Launch of RideLondon today is further proof that British Cycling’s Olympic legacy is already in place. Like the rest of the country I have celebrated the achievements of Laura Trott, Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy, not just because they have succeeded during a wonderful summer for British cycle sport, but because they and the rest of the British Cycling team are inspiring people across the country to get active. Success in the Tour de France and the Olympics has seen membership surge, seeing 250 people a day join British Cycling. There are over 160,000 more people cycling once a week or more than was the case six months ago. RideLondon demonstrates there is now an unprecedented, mainstream demand for cycling events in this country. And our colleagues at the UCI know that British Cycling can be relied upon to produce not just competitors of the highest level, but also superbly organised events for cyclists of all levels of ability. None of this is a happy accident but the product of years of hard work. What we are seeing are the fruits of a strategy British Cycling has been pursuing for over a decade. And the success of our sport at both elite and participation levels is a great return on the efforts of so many of the people involved in our sport who have turned that strategy into action. Having been involved with the creation of RideLondon we look forward to this annual events first delivery next year with great anticipation”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, said: "Delivering on our promise to realise a tangible legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, today's announcement of RideLondon sees the culmination of over two years planning and preparation come to fruition. As we near the end of staging the greatest event on the planet, London has truly staked its place as the most exciting major events destination. RideLondon will offer something for every sports fan or keen cyclists – from watching the thrilling elite race travelling through London and Surrey to inspiring people to take part in the biggest annual mass participation cycling event in the world."
Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will begin to reopen from summer 2013 and RideLondon will give thousands of people the opportunity to experience it for the first time. Our Olympic success in cycling has captured the imagination of Londoners and we will draw on that inspiration to put on a cycling festival within the Park that brings people together and encourages healthy living.”
Peter Hendy CBE, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Already, hundreds of thousands of people cycle in London every day and RideLondon will provide a fantastic opportunity to encourage even more people to start cycling. This inaugural event will combine a fun and free family closed road ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclists race, plus a mass participation event over the same course. It is now time to turn the vision for RideLondon into one of the world’s leading cycling events and a lasting legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games into reality. Roll on 3 August 2013.”
David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “I am delighted we can work with the Mayor of London to give the nation’s new-found enthusiasm for cycling a lasting legacy. Having made such a success of the Olympic cycle races we now have the springboard we need to find the next Bradley Wiggins or Lizzie Armitstead.”
Notes to Editors
- While the Mayor and his agencies will be the custodians of RideLondon, the event will be managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership (LSCP), a partnership between The London Marathon Limited (owners & operators of the London Marathon since 1981) and SweetSpot Group Limited (operators of The Tour of Britain).
- The RideLondon weekend will include:
RideLondon Freecycle “COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE” - An 8 mile central London route on closed roads for up to 70,000 people.
RideLondon Grand Prix “EXPERIENCE CRITERIUM RACING” - Also known as Criterium Racing, this invitational city centre loop will provide a focus for the Women’s Elite, hand-cycles and youth groups.
RideLondon 100 “RISE TO THE CHALLENGE” - A 100 mile challenge ride including charitable fundraising through London and Surrey via Richmond Park - expected to attract 20,000 riders in Year 1.
RideLondon Classic “SEE THE GREATS” - Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Part and following part of the Olympic Road Race route this race will see the international men’s elite take to the roads of London & Surrey on what is expected to become part of the UCI’s official race calendar (announcement in September).
- Registration for RideLondon is open. Go to www.RideLondon.co.uk and sign up to what promises to be one of the most exciting events to hit the streets of London next year.
- With LSCP, Transport for London (TfL) and London & Partners (the Mayor’s official promotional organisation) will coordinate the significant technical requirements for the event and work in partnership with London Boroughs, Surrey County Council, The Royal Parks, London Legacy Development Corporation and British Cycling, who will each be integral to the delivery of the event.
- This flagship event will form part of the Mayor and TfL’s cycling programme. This includes Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways expansion across London, providing easy and secure cycle parking and wayfinding and investment in cycling in outer London via the Biking Boroughs programme, as well as working with London Boroughs to deliver child and adult cycling training courses.
- RideLondon will provide a fantastic platform to help fulfil The Mayor and TfL’s goal of encouraging more people to cycle more safely, more often. TfL anticipate tens of thousands of spectators and participants every year will take up regular cycling after each event. This will be achieved by creating massive engagement with participants, spectators and media alike. There will be no other closed road event like it that combines the fun and accessible element of a free family ride in central London with the excitement of an annual two day festival of cycling – a true legacy of the 2012 Games.
- 2011 saw unprecedented demand for cycling in London with the cycle hire scheme reaching over 8 million cycles hired, the introduction of three cycle superhighways and the increasing popularity of mass participation events.
- In 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic Games has already allowed us to showcase London to a global audience and increase our ability to combine elite performance with wider participation events to inspire new generations to take up cycling.
- RideLondon will allow those inspired during the Games to get involved whilst allowing the world’s greatest cyclists to compete in front of national and international audiences.
- For the inaugural RideLondon event, charities are being asked to apply through a ballot process for their allocation of entries. These entries will be allocated in September and the charities informed of their allocation no later than October. Unsuccessful charities in the first ballot will get priority entry in a second ballot to be held for 2014 as more entries are taken.
- The London Marathon is proud to say that all its profits are given to The London Marathon Charitable Trust who help fund sport and recreation projects in London and areas where it organises events. Recent grants include £2 million awarded to the Lee Valley Velodrome for cycle legacy funding at the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- London is recognised internationally as the best sports city in the world and, with an unrivalled track record in planning for and hosting cycling events such as The Tour De France Grand Depart in 2007 and the Olympic cycling road races in 2012, we have the knowledge and expertise required to do this better than any other city.
- The completion of the Olympic Park will increase these opportunities and allow London to host many Olympic and Paralympic sports for the first time. This will continue well beyond 2012 as we seek to combine elite performance sport with wider participation events, and to encourage new generations to get active. We are dedicated to making the most of this sporting legacy for London and the rest of the UK as well as capitalising on the growth of sports tourism for the future.
For further information contact the Mayor of London’s press office on 020 7983 4070 (number not for publication) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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For non-media enquiries please call the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.