Cy­clists get on their bikes and ride

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Goolis­tan Cooper goolis­tan.cooper@trin­i­tymir­

AROUND 70,000 cy­clists en­joyed a sun-drenched ride around Lon­don on Satur­day (Au­gust 1) as the two-day RideLon­don fes­ti­val kicked off.

Day one of the event saw par­tic­i­pants of all ages take on an eight-mile route around traf­fic-free roads in cen­tral Lon­don, tak­ing in land­marks such as Trafal­gar Square and St Paul’s Cathe­dral.

There was also cy­clingth­emed en­ter­tain­ment and live mu­sic at a num­ber of fes­ti­val zones along the route. Event di­rec­tor Hugh Brasher hailed it as a cy­cling cel­e­bra­tion and a fan­tas­tic fam­ily fun day out. He said: “This is not just about pro­mot­ing cy­cling as a sport, but cy­cling as a form of health and ex­er­cise, cy­cling as a mode of trans­port, and cy­cling as an or­di­nary part of peo­ple’s lives.

“We have seen all kinds of peo­ple out to­day, from the old­est to the youngest, from teenagers to ba­bies be­ing towed along in their bug­gies.”

As the evening closed in, spec­ta­tors were treated to the Bromp­ton World Cham­pi­onship which took place in Lon­don for the first time. Af­ter a photo fin­ish Bri­tish rider Mark Em­s­ley was crowned the win­ner for the sec­ond year in a row.

In the more tra­di­tional races Ella Barn­well claimed vic­tory in the youth girls Grand Prix while Jake Stewart won the boy’s race.

And then, in the main ex­cit­ing event of the day, 103 elite women riders bat­tled it out in the Grand Prix with Ve­locio Sports team mem­ber Bar­bara Guar­ischi tak­ing first place.

Bri­tish cy­cling favourite and dou­ble Olympic medal­list Laura Trott could only man­age a sev­enth place fin­ish with ri­val, and last year’s win­ner, Gior­gia Bronzini in fourth place.

As the sun shone on day two, some 26,000 riders took on the RideLon­don-Sur­rey 100 through the city, into leafy Sur­rey and back into the cap­i­tal to fin­ish on The Mall. The first riders made it back in around four hours and Ital­ian rider Francesco Cipol­letta crossed the fin­ish line first.

Mayor of Lon­don and Uxbridge & South Ruis­lip MP, Boris John­son, posted a Youtube video to celebrate the event.

In it he re­called tak­ing part in 2013, and said: “I will never for­get the joy­ful ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing spurred up those beau­ti­ful Sur­rey hills by the en­cour­age­ment and some­times the cheer­ful de­ri­sion of my fel­low cy­clists.”

n TEAM SPIRIT: The cy­clists sweep over Hamp­ton Court Bridge as spec­ta­tors gather to cheer them on

Photos by Jon Mikol www.buyapho­ WL154545

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