Applicants for 100 mile cycle challenge speeds past the 50,000 milestone
3 Jan 2013, 2:57 p.m.
There are only 24 hours remaining for Londoners and cyclists to sign up for a 100 mile cycle challenge that will be part of a world class two day festival of cycling hosted by the capital later this year. Today (3 January) the Mayor of London confirmed that more than 50,000 people have now registered their interest in taking part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 road ride.
RideLondon is a brand new festival of cycling that will take place over an action packed August weekend and will feature a series of events for amateur, club and world elite cyclists. The festival is managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, a joint venture between the organisers of the London Marathon and The Tour of Britain, and is predicted to 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.
The highlight of the weekend will be a 100 mile road ride for up to 20,000 amateur, club and world class elite cyclists that will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race. Registrations have doubled for the ride in the last two months alone but organisers are still encouraging the public to get involved and register for the ballot which will close on 4 January 2013. Thousands more registrations are expected ahead of the deadline but anyone unsuccessful in the ballot will still potentially be able to get involved by applying to cycle for a charity of their choice with over 300 charities signed up to participate in RideLondon-Surrey 100.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The London cycling scene is booming and what better time of year could there be to make a pledge to get fit and healthy and take part in this incredible challenge. We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of cyclists to the capital this summer for what I believe is set to become one of the world’s leading cycle events.”
David Hodge, the Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “I am delighted that we are working 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.”
Hugh Brasher, from London and Surrey Cycling Partnership said; “We are ecstatic with the response we have had for the first year of this iconic event. RideLondon-Surrey 100 is destined to do for cycling what the London Marathon did for running in the 80’s and take it to a new level. People have been inspired by the thought of riding the route made famous by the London 2012 games and have been signing up in record numbers.”
Split over two exciting days, RideLondon will begin with a family fun ride of up to 50,000 participants aimed at families and amateur riders who want to enjoy the fun of cycling in a traffic-free environment. The ride will cover 8 miles of closed roads, taking in some of London’s most famous landmarks. The following day, RideLondon-Surrey 100 will start from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, making this the Park’s first sporting event since its transformation after the 2012 Games. The cycling challenge will cover a modified version of the 100 mile Olympic Road Race course through central London via Richmond Park out to the Surrey Hills.
Ben Plowden, Director of Planning, TfL Surface Transport said: “Cycling in the UK is bigger than ever before and is a true legacy of the London 2012 Games. It is encouraging to see so many people already registered to participate in RideLondon-Surrey 100, part of the action packed RideLondon weekend this summer that will have an event for everyone regardless of age or cycling ability. RideLondon FreeCycle on Saturday 3 August will cater for families and new or occasional cyclists, whilst RideLondon Surrey-100 the next day will be suited to regular and club cyclists - hopefully I will see you at the start line.”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional organisation supporting RideLondon added: “This leap in applicants is incredibly positive and is already indicating just how much of a success story RideLondon is set to become. In 2012, London staged the biggest show on Earth and has proved itself as the ultimate city for major events, so we are delighted that such an inclusive and mass-participation event will be coming to the capital as a living legacy from the summer.”