As the Tour de France finished in Paris at the weekend, excitement has begun to build around the return of the Tour of Britain to the streets of central London on Sunday, 7 September.
This year’s Tour of Britain, which is part of the Mayor’s Summer of Cycling, promises to be a vintage race, with many of Britain’s top cycling stars, such as Mark Cavendish - who has just put in the most successful British Tour de France performance in history - expected to take part.
This year the Tour of Britain is starting in the Capital, and will see 96 professional cyclists racing 86 kilometres on a 8.6 kilometre circuit that takes in some of London’s most iconic sites – including Big Ben, Cleopatra’s Needle, Somerset House, and the Tower of London.
A free to view event, the London stage of the Tour of Britain will be a fantastic day out for all Londoners. As well as the excitement of watching some of the world’s greatest cyclists in action, Transport for London will also be hosting BikeJam, which is a family-friendly, vibrant celebration of all things cycling related at Tower Hill. BikeJam will provide a cycling-themed day of activities, entertainment and experiences for people of all ages, including;
- cycle-stunt performers
- bike maintenance
- advice on cycling in London
- an interactive arts and crafts zone
- pedal-powered food stalls
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said:
“The Summer of Cycling just gets better and better, with the Tour of Britain hitting our streets on September 7. It is a terrifically exciting time for cycle sports at the moment, and we’re incredibly lucky that we will be able to watch the British cycling team and other sporting heroes who will have taken part in the Olympic Games racing on the streets of our great city. Londoners can expect to have a fantastic day of cycling related fun, and will still be able to look forward to having a go themselves at the Sky Sports London Freewheel just two weeks later."
Peter Hendy, Transport Commissioner for London, said:
“Inspirational sporting events play a huge role in getting people excited about taking part in a sport themselves, which is why the Mayor and Transport for London are bringing the Tour of Britain to the Capital.
“The fantastic thing about cycling is that it’s not only great exercise, it’s also a practical and enjoyable way to travel. Half a million journeys a day in the Capital are already being made by bike, and we want to encourage even more people to cycle in London.”
Visit London Chief Executive James Bidwell said:
“London is the perfect backdrop for such an exciting and inspirational event as the Tour of Britain and we’re delighted to have been working with Transport for London and London Development Agency to make this event happen. Cycling is a great way to enjoy the many wonderful sights that London has to offer as well as being a very green and cost-effective way of getting around the city too. We hope the BikeJam event will be an enjoyable one which will inspire even more families, who may not have cycled before, to take to their saddles and enjoy London.”
Mick Bennett, Technical Director of the Tour of Britain, said;
“Coming just two weeks after what I'm sure will be a successful Olympics for British cyclists, Stage One of the Tour of Britain will give people the chance to see members of the British team in action, competing on what is a fantastic circuit at the heart of London.
“It will also be a chance to welcome home Mark Cavendish after his brilliant performance at the Tour de France, while last year's Tour of Britain winner Romain Feillu, who wore the yellow jersey earlier in the Tour de France, will be back to defend his title. I fully expect the stage to come down to an exciting bunch sprint, and both these riders will be vying for victory on the banks of the Thames.”
Transport for London (TfL) will bring the Tour of Britain to the Capital for the next four years. It will start in London in 2008, and will finish here in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Notes to editor
1 This year’s Tour of Britain London stage will see 96 professional cyclists race for 86 kilometres on a central London circuit that takes in some of London’s most iconic landmarks. The 8.6 kilometre route will start and finish on Victoria Embankment, taking the riders along the banks of the Thames, through the City of London, and past Big Ben, Cleopatra’s Needle, Somerset House, and the Tower of London.
3. More information about cycling in London can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling
4. Visit London is the official visitor organisation for London. A leader in best practice destination marketing, Visit London promotes the UK capital internationally, across Britain and to Londoners targeting leisure and business visitors. Visit London works in partnership with the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency, London Councils and the tourism industry.
5. Events for London (EfL) is the UK capital's official major events team. Events for London is a partnership between the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency and Visit London and is tasked with attracting, developing and staging major sporting and cultural events. Events for London acts as a central point of leadership and expertise to develop the capital as the world’s leading major events destination. Leading this new function is Visit London, the capital’s tourism agency. Events for London is one of the first legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
6. The BikeJam logo is available on request
Senior Press Officer
Direct line: 020 7126 3394