Mayor of London Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to emulate the success of the London Marathon by joining forces with the UCI to put on what will be the biggest timed bike race in the world with 30,000 amateur riders taking to the capital’s streets. The first edition is planned for 2013, running alongside a separate event for some of the world’s top pro riders, reports the London Evening Standard.
The event, which would fall under the UCI World Cycling Tour – the governing body is said to have received bids from nine UK cities to host a leg of the amateur series – takes its inspiration from South Africa’s annual Cape Argus ride and the newspaper reports that it has seen documents outlining four potential routes of between 60 and 120km.
The first follows the route of next year’s Olympic Road Race, starting and finishing on the Mall, with an itinerary taking riders through London’s South Western suburbs before tackling Box Hill in Surrey.
Also under consideration are a loop following the North and South Circular Roads, a route that starts and ends in Stratford’s Olympic Park with riders passing some iconic sights in Central London before heading out into the Essex Countryside, and a fourth option starting in Greenwich and covering some of the roads in Kent raced in Stage 1 of the 2007 Tour de France before heading back to the city centre.
The event would cost an estimated £3 million, which would be met by entry fees as well as sponsorship. The Standard says that the route following the Olympic Road Race appears to be the favoured option, with documents foreseeing the event then “evolving to a more inclusive route (including the Olympic Park) in subsequent years.”
The newspaper adds that Visit London is holding a meeting next week, which will bring together transport heads, London Marathon management and the Metropolitan Police, ahead of a decision being made over putting together a formal bid.
We’re contacting the relevant bodies to obtain further information, and will bring you more news as and when we have it.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.