London hailed sporting capital of the world as RideLondon gets underway

London hailed sporting capital of the world as RideLondon gets underway

More than 70,000 cyclists are taking part in the “biggest road cycling event ever in the UK” which is taking place in London this weekend.

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott kick-started the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle this morning, the first of four events that form the capital’s Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling.

Trott, who won two track cycling golds at the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer, led thousands of riders off in single file from Bank Junction as they attempt to make history with a Guinness World Record for the highest number of cyclists to ride in a continuous line.

The current figure of 916 bikes was set in Davis, California, in 2010, and more than 2,000 eager cyclists have pre-registered to take part in the attempt.

“Britain is the leader of the pack when it comes to record-breaking cycling,” said Guinness World Record’s Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday. “Now everyone has the chance to get on their bikes and join the spectacular Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton in the record books.”

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Some 50,000 cyclists are expected to take part in the family-friendly seven-hour event. They will be able to cycle the course at any pace and go round the loop as many times as they like, stopping en route to enjoy a range of bike-based entertainment and activities.

A further 20,000 cyclists – both amateur and professional will be taking part in three other events in central London and also Surrey over the weekend.

Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, said: “Prudential RideLondon is a key event for the city, delivering on the Olympic legacy promise not only for athletes but also for our sports-captivated nation to stay inspired following London 2012.

“The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be a key event on the global cycling calendar, with the best cyclists in the world descending on the capital a year on from the Games.

“We look forward to welcoming our visitors, both those competing and spectators, to what is set to be an incredible cycling festival which will entertain audiences across the world through extensive live international broadcast.” Edmunson added.

Prudential RideLondon is expected to give a major boost to the number of active cyclists in the UK, while attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to London and Surrey.