Cyclists take to the streets of London
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cyclists take to the streets of London

by Steve Jones at 11:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, General, Commuting
 

For the third consecutive year London's city streets became home to tens of thousands of cyclists. In what is now called the Mayor of London's Skyride (formerly the London Freewheel), a 15 kilometer route was closed starting at Buckingham Palace, cruising through the Victoria Embankment up to Tower Hill, and covering the square mile.

The success of the British Olympic track team in Beijing helped raise the awareness of cycling in the country. Because of that, Mark Cavendish's (Columbia-HTC) and Bradly Wiggins' (Garmin-Slipstream) exploits in the 2009 Tour de France did not go unnoticed, and have helped fuel the cycling craze in the UK.

In 2008 Cavendish left the Tour de France early to prepare for the Olympics in Beijing - a move he would later regret. His incredible feat of four stage wins in the world's biggest bike race was largely ignored by the British press.

With BSkyB now involved in the sport, the media attention for cycling is sure to remain on the rise, especially as the world watches their new ProTour Team Sky materialize. Evidence of this can already be seen with Mayor Boris Johnson and actress Kelly Brook sending the cyclists on their way. Using popular public figures is a smart move to associate the sport with distinction and celebrity.

Olympic medallist Sir Chris Hoy, one of the key figures in cycling's new-found popularity, and TV presenter Gethin Jones also took part in the event.

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