British Cycling president Bob Howden hailed Chris Froome and Team Sky following the third British Tour de France success in the last four years.
Froome fought off the challenge from his rivals including Nairo Quintana, to claim his second Tour de France win in the last three years following his first victory in 2013. Froome was also runner-up to Sir Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 race.
This year’s race was notable for the number of British riders taking part in the race; a record-equalling 10 British cyclists took to the start line, with eight of those riders having progressed through British Cycling programmes.
Froome winning his second Tour extends a golden period for the sport that began with Sir Bradley Wiggins crossing the finishing line in 2012 to become the first British winner of the world’s biggest cycle race.
Since then cycling in this country has seen the following highlights:
- The Great Britain Cycling Team topped the medal tables at the Olympic and Paralympic Games winning 16 gold medals and a combined total of 34 medals.
- 31 world champions crowned across all cycling disciplines since the beginning of 2013.
- British Cycling membership now at 112,000, rising from 50,000 when Sir Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012.
- Record participation levels with over two million people now riding their bike at least once a week.
- Over 250,000 more women now cycling regularly since British Cycling launched its WeRide strategy in 2013.
- British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme for young people offered over 500,000 opportunities for young people to get involved in 2014.
- Participation in the sport is continuing to grow with over 20,000 people now regularly racing across all disciplines.
- Almost 3,500 competitive cycling events now take place each year with over 170,000 people racing.
- More than 100 new clubs have formed in the past 12 months bringing the total number of clubs in Great Britain to 1,900.
British Cycling president, Bob Howden, said:
“It’s an absolutely fantastic achievement by Chris Froome and everyone at Team Sky to win the Tour de France. They’ve come under a lot of pressure both on and off the road in the last couple of weeks and they’ve handled it with maturity and class and deserve all their success.
“It was also fantastic to see the other British riders taking part in the race. Geraint Thomas performed like a lion for Chris Froome while the performances of the Yates brothers and Luke Rowe suggest that the future is in very safe hands. Their success, and that of the other British riders in the Tour, is a credit to the army of volunteers without whom the sport in this country could not function.
“The last three years have been extraordinary for British Cycling but the best really is yet to come. There is still a great deal to do, including getting a million more women into cycling by 2020, sustaining the country’s most successful sports team, continuing to support growth in cycle sport through our regions, clubs, members and volunteers, and transforming Britain into a true cycling nation by making conditions on our roads better for everyone who wants to get around by bike.”
For more information about how to get into cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved