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RideLondon - held this weekend - is the jewel in the mass-participation crown

The Olympic legacy of world-class cycling events in the capital have added £149 million to the economy since the 2012 Games, new research has found.

The events, including Prudential RideLondon, Tour de France, Tour of Britain, UCI Track Cycling World Cup and World Championships, have all been well-recieved and brought competitors, spectators and tourists to London from around the world.

The largest of these is this weekend’s Prudential RideLondon, which now brings 100,000 cyclists and 300,000 spectators, making the capital £53 million in three years, according to BikeBiz.

Brian Cookson OBE, President of the UCI, said: "Four years on, the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games can clearly be felt in London, especially for cycling, not only as a competitive sport, but also as a leisure activity and a means of transport.

“For example, Prudential RideLondon has become a true celebration of cycling at all levels. It is a very attractive race for professional riders, both men and women, but also the perfect occasion for everyone to take to their bikes, no matter their age or level of fitness. The Lee Valley VeloPark is another example of the great legacy of London 2012, and I was very proud to come back to the velodrome as UCI President at the beginning of the year for the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.”

Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, said: “Since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games London has secured some of the best must-see global sporting events. The city is recognised around the world as a fantastic destination for major events.

“These events are a big draw for UK and international visitors who come to watch sporting superstars on the world stage, which has helped boost London’s economy by billions of pounds.”

Yesterday saw a third day added to the RideLondon weekend.

This year’s “festival of cycling”, which 100,000 people are expected to attend, included a day of free family-friendly entertainment on 29 July at the Lee Valley VeloPark in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.

This was the first time in the festival’s four year history, that events were held on the Friday, seeing BMX racing added to the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix programme at the VeloPark’s BMX track. Stunt legend Danny MacAskill performed in the Festival Zone.

The programme for the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix included:

    Two handcycle races: the Prudential RideLondon Handcycle Grand Prix for injured veteran servicemen and women and the Prudential RideLondon Elite Handcycle Grand Prix for top international handcyclists
    The Prudential RideLondon Youths Grand Prix: a programme of four races with a boys and girls race for the Youth B category (open to riders aged U14) and a boys and girls race for the Youth A category (open to riders aged U16)
    The Prudential RideLondon Youths BMX Grand Prix for boys and girls in four age categories (for riders aged U8, 9-10 years, 11-12 years and 13-14 years)
    Danny MacAskill’s Drop and Roll Tour, sponsored by Continental Tyres, to the Festival Zone and features the world’s top street trials rider performing breathtaking stunts on a state-of-the-art custom built rig

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.