Nicola Adams envious of youngsters' chance to ride the 46
2 Mar 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Double Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams says she might have ended up a cyclist rather than a boxer had she been given the opportunity to ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 when she was a teenager.
Adams, who today [Thursday 2 March 2017] received an OBE at Buckingham Palace, was speaking at the launch of this year's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 where she met students from across London who will be riding the sportive on Sunday 30 July.
The students are part of Teach First, a charity tackling educational inequality, and for most of them this year's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 will be their first mass-participation sporting event.
And Adams, who won gold medals at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, said she was envious the youngsters had been given that chance.
"I am hoping taking part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 will inspire some of these youngsters to get more involved in cycling and sport as a whole," she said.
“Who knows, there might be some of the kids who think, 'you know what, after doing the 46 and enjoying it so much I want to get more involved in cycling'. Whether that's cycling more for fitness or doing sportives or just riding in the velodrome, this gives the kids the opportunity to take up a new challenge. I would have loved to have done something like this when I was younger. Who knows, I might have been a cyclist rather than a boxer!"
Adams helped launch the 2017 PruGoals programme, a partnership between Teach First and Prudential which aims to empower young people to fulfil their ambitions regardless of their social or economic background.
She spent time chatting to some of the riders from schools and colleges across London who will ride alongside Adams in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 as part of the Teach First programme.
"They are really excited to be taking part and really excited that I'm taking part," said Adams. "They were asking me lots of questions, things like 'are my legs are going to hurt at the end?' and I told them 'yes, your legs are going to be a bit sore after 46 miles but it's taking part in the challenge that counts. Lots of people would love this opportunity.’"
Adams herself is extremely excited by the challenge of riding the event and says it will fit nicely into her boxing training. The 34-year-old has now turned professional and is set for her first fight in the paid ranks on Saturday 8 April before another bout in her home-town Leeds on Saturday 13 May. She’s looking forward to fitting some cycling into her fight preparations. "I cycled all the way through my amateur career and saw the difference it made," she said. "Up until this point I’ve only cycled as far as 13km so doing a little bit more is going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m really excited to get the chance to ride around London, where I won my first Olympic gold, on traffic-free streets, running those red lights and being cheered on by the crowds. It’s going to be really cool.”
The 46-mile ride is part of Prudential RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, and was created specifically for newer and younger cyclists to encourage them to enter their first mass-participation sportive.
The public ballot entry system for the 2017 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46, which takes place on Sunday 30 July, is now open and closes when the 20,000 riders have registered or at 17:00 on Friday 12 May 2017, whichever is earlier. Applicants will be informed whether they are successful or not in the ballot before the end of May. The cost of entry is £39.