by Marcus Leach
The lasting impact of the Tour de France coming to Britain has been described as 'unforgettable' and 'powerful' by British Cycling president Bob Howden, as the full impact of July’s Grand Depart has been revealed.
The Tour de France landed in Britain this summer for three days of dramatic racing with estimations of roadside support soon reaching millions, even before Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme, described Yorkshire's Grand Depart as the 'grandest' in the 111-year history of the race.
And now British Cycling has revealed that the three-day festival has left a legacy of active cyclists not only in Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and London, but across the nation thanks to preparations which began the day the 2014 Grand Depart was awarded to the UK.
Over 95,000 people took part in British Cycling registered events in the regions touched by the Tour de France in 2014 in a year where the total participation across all British Cycling’s recreational programmes increased by 64%.
A new international three-day stage race has been announced for 2015 with the Tour de Yorkshire cementing the region as a host of major international bike racing for the next three years at least.
For British Cycling president Bob Howden, the numbers are further proof that cycling has reached new heights in popularity.
"The Tour de France coming to this country provided some unforgettable scenes of the great British public taking cycling to their hearts. It was magical to see the inspiration of the Tour with millions of people lining the streets and millions more watching live," he said.
"Today, it is clear that the event has made a significant and powerful impact on the sporting landscape of this country. Our role at British Cycling is to make sure that anyone who wants to cycle can do so and I’m very proud that we have been able to engage so many newcomers to the sport this summer.
"That is no accident but the result of the same strategic approach which helped us deliver a London 2012 legacy.
"It is also work that continues so I’m confident the inspiration will have a lasting impact and that cycling will continue to reach new heights as one of Britain’s best-loved sports."
As well as thousands of people getting on their bikes, this summer’s Tour de France will also have a lasting impact for years to come.
British Cycling is now working across 18 local authorities in Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and the whole of London - through a strategic partnership with Transport for London - to develop cycling on a local level, helping to transform communities by promoting enjoyable, safe and responsible cycling.
A key focus of British Cycling and Transport for London’s work is to help new cyclists gain confidence by offering guided cycle rides. More than 10,000 Londoners joined guided rides in 2014 – triple the 3,500 participants that took part in in 2013.
Tour de France legacy:
- Nearly 50,000 people took part in British Cycling Sky Ride events, Sky Ride Local rides, Ride Social rides and Breeze during 2014 across all Tour de France regions.
- 130 sportives - non-competitive challenge events - were registered with British Cycling in Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and London alone in 2014. The events attracted approximately 35,000 participants.
- Over 9,000 young people got involved with the Go-Ride Tour with 130 Go-Ride clubs hosting entry-level racing events for under 16s across the country. Out of these participants, 3,800 experienced cycle sport for the first time.
- A new international three-day stage race has been announced for 2015 and beyond.
- British Cycling has 62 council partnerships in place, representing 103 Local Authorities across the country including Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and Greater London.
- British Cycling supported 240 competitive events across all cycling disciplines.
- The total participation across all British Cycling’s recreational programmes increased by 64% in 2014.
- Six Sky Ride events delivered in Yorkshire in 2014 engaged 35,500 people. Nearly 100,000 people have been engaged in our mass participation events in Yorkshire since 2010.
- British Cycling delivered 241 come-and-try events nationally as part of the Go-Ride Tour throughout the month of July.
- Throughout 2014, British Cycling trained nearly 500 new coaches in the regions visited by the Tour de France.