Six race organisers shortlisted to run London Festival of Cycling

16 March 2012

The Mayor of London has announced that six of the world’s leading race organisers have been short listed to run a two day festival of cycling in London next year. It will be the first large scale event to use the Olympic Park when it reopens and is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, generate jobs and generate tens of millions of pounds for the capital.

The Mayor’s ambition is for London to host a spectacular weekend festival of cycling in August 2013. The first day of the festival would involve a family fun ride for up to 70,000 cyclists on an eight mile loop of closed roads around London’s iconic landmarks. The following day up to 35,000 amateur, club and world class elite cyclists will tackle a 100 mile course that will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race.

Six organisations have now been short listed as a potential delivery partner for the event. They are:

  • Amaury Sport Organisation – owners of the Tour de France
  • IMG – owners of the London Triathlon and the Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines closed road cycling events
  • Limelight Sports and Participate Sport (Joint Venture) – Limelight Sports are sub-contractors for the Olympic Road Cycling Race and Participate Sport are the organisers of Cycletta, the women only bike ride series
  • London & Surrey Cycling Partnership – comprising the organisers of the London Marathon (who are responsible for the sporting content of the Olympic Marathons, Paralympic Marathon, and Olympic Race Walks) and SweetSpot Group (organisers of the Tour of Britain)
  • Nova International – owners of the Great North Run (and new Great Manchester Cycle)
  • Upsolut – organisers of the Triathlon ITU World Championship London (Olympic test event in Hyde Park) and owners of Europe's largest combined WorldTour elite race and mass participation cycle event in Germany

The six short listed organisations now have until mid-April to submit formal proposals. The Mayor's team will select the best proposal prior to the start of the Games.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The high quality of the shortlisted organisations is a clear demonstration of their confidence in London’s ability to host a world class cycle festival. With the Games just around the corner, the investment to date is already paying off, and my team is hard at work developing the events that will help us showcase our great city to the world for many years to come.”

The international promotion associated with what will become an annual cycling festival will bring millions of pounds of economic benefit into London through national and international participation plus hundreds of thousands of spectators and worldwide TV audiences. It will provide a long term source of income for investment into improving conditions for cycling in London and provide opportunities to channel people to other cycling initiatives.

The cycle festival will support the delivery of the Mayor’s cycle revolution in London. The Mayor has overseen a 15 per cent increase in cycling over the last year alone including a huge eastern expansion of the Barclays cycle hire scheme.

Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners and the Project Director for the festival of cycling added: "We have set an ambitious vision for one of the world's biggest cycling events as a major Olympic legacy, and we are honoured to have the world's best event organisers willing to invest in turning this vision into a reality. The prize for the successful organisation is huge as they will be at the heart of creating a new global event for London to rival the best of the city's existing annual sporting events."

Notes to editors

  • The procurement of the independent delivery partner will be managed by Transport for London and London & Partners on behalf of the Mayor.
  • The first day of the cycle festival will be aimed at all ages and abilities and will promote the fun of cycling in London on a traffic-free route around eight miles of London’s iconic roads and landmarks. On the second day of the event the organisers expect up to 35,000 amateur and professional cyclists to race a 100 mile challenge course.
  • The challenge event will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in conjunction with the Olympic Park Legacy Company and will utilise the roads in London and Surrey as used in the 2012 Olympic Games road cycling race finishing at an iconic location in central London.
  • The elite race will be part of the international calendar of professional cycling, subject to an application to the UCI (the international cycling federation) due later this year
  • The Olympic Park will be home to an unrivalled centre for cycling after the Games – Lee Valley VeloPark, consisting of the Olympic Velodrome and BMX track, plus mountain bike trails and a road circuit which will be constructed after the Games. Festival organisers are working on linking with this world class venue.
  • The festival of cycling is expected to make use of the multi-use arena and Lee Valley VeloPark. The VeloPark, along with Lee Valley Hockey Centre and Lee Valley Tennis Centre, will be run by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.