London plans 'marathon-sized' weekend of cycling events

London will build on Great Britain's huge cycling success at the Olympic Games with a weekend of events in the capital next year.

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This will be a great way of getting people involved with cycling

Laura Trott Team GB double gold medallist

Ride London will comprise several races around famous London landmarks and hopes to attract more than 200,000 elite and amateur cyclists.

It is hoped the event, in August 2013, will become cycling's marathon and the first parts of an Olympic legacy.

"This will be a wonderful event for our city," said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The event is managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership - a joint venture between the organisers of the London Marathon and the Tour of Britain.

Analysis

Anything that gives people an opportunity to ride a bike gets my vote. Moving from no exercise to lycra and racing bikes is just too big a leap for many. The sportive event can be ridden flat out as a race or in cut-off jeans with friends, you simply choose how you want to cover the distance so they aren't scary to non-cyclists. That's why I feel these kind of mass participation activities are so important in promoting cycling as both a sport and just a great way to get around. Hats off to London for choosing to proactively capitalise on what the Olympics has started.

On the Saturday, an eight-mile family fun ride will take place for up to 70,000 cyclists on a loop of closed roads around London's landmarks, with the Sunday featuring a 100-mile ride for as many as 20,000 amateur, club and world-class elite cyclists.

It will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and will be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race.

Women's elite cyclists, junior cyclists and hand cycles will take to the streets of the capital to compete in a city centre grand prix and there will be a 'see the greats' race starting in the Queen Elizabeth Park and following part of the Olympic road race route.

"This will be a great way of getting people involved with cycling," said 20-year-old Laura Trott, who won track cycling gold medals for Britain in the team pursuit and omnium.