Riding News

100 days to go: London Games legacy could be ‘nation of cyclists’ says British Cycling chief

The legacy of the London Olympic Games could be to turn Britain into a nation of cyclists.

British Cycling's chief executive, Ian Drake, has described the London Games' potential to create 'a nation of cyclists'

That’s the rallying cry from British Cycling’s chief executive, Ian Drake, with just 100 days to go until this summer’s Games; one in which Team GB’s cyclists will carry the hopes of the nation.

Drake described the forthcoming Games as “the greatest show on Earth” and identified weekend rides with friends, sportives, racing, and commuting as ways to get involved in the sport.

“The cycling revolution has already started – over 1.7 million people now ride at least once a week – but we don’t want to stop there,” he said.

“Our aspiration is to win medals and to ensure that we use that success to get unprecedented numbers of people riding regularly, transforming Britain into a nation of cyclists and providing a true legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

He described the Go Ride Games and Sky Ride as “an unrivalled opportunity” to ensure that London 2012 inspired thousands of people to take up cycling. The Go Ride Games initiative will bring together young people from 100 Go Ride clubs for a “national summer festival of cycling”.

Some 90,000 people took part in 300 sportives last year, and 20,000 people now race regularly, according to British Cycling, who estimate some 3,500 competitive events take place each year.

British Cycling’s partnership with Sky continues to yield dividends away from the success of the nation’s elite cyclists. More than 200,000 people took part in mass participation Sky Ride events last year, and this year some 25,000 ‘recreational bike riders’ will be offered the opportunity to take part in over 1,700 community rides in partnership with 45 local authorities. Training will be offered to a further 650 ‘ride leaders’, taking the total to over 1,200.

More than 2,300 coaches and ride leaders trained for a coaching qualification last year. Roger Hammond, who raced in cycling’s elite WorldTour peloton with the Cervelo Test Team, T Mobile, and Discovery teams, and who has a total of nine national road and cyclo-cross titles on his palmares, will be the key note speaker at British Cycling’s Coaching 2012 conference at the University of Birmingham on Saturday May 19.

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