Chris Froome’s commanding performance to ensure a British cyclist has won the Tour de France for the second year running caps the greatest 12 months in the history of British Cycling, British Cycling’s President Brian Cookson said today.
As Team Sky's Froome crossed the Champs Elysees in Paris today to claim the yellow jersey and the biggest prize in cycling, Cookson said:
“Chris Froome’s victory in the biggest bike race in the world rounds off what has been a truly glorious year in the history of cycling in this country. Sir Bradley Wiggins started the ball rolling last year, followed by a wonderful London 2012. Their achievements have been matched by a growth in our membership of over 50% in the last 12 months.
“Chris’s performance is testament to both his commitment and talent and of all the people who have contributed to his success.
“And he is not the only success of this year’s Tour. Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard have all excelled and they are all products of British Cycling talent programmes.”
The achievements of British Cycling’s elite riders have inspired thousands of people to get on their bikes. British Cycling has seen an unprecedented growth in membership, recently hitting 75,000 members for the first time in the organisation’s history and winning Governing Body of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards.
“Success on the world stage has without doubt inspired more people to get into recreational riding. Almost 30,000 people have joined British Cycling since Bradley won the Tour last year, 100 new cycling clubs have been formed and there are more people entering events and doing personal challenge rides than ever before. Chris’s victory is keeping our sport very much in the national spotlight and long may that continue.”
The growing profile of the sport has also allowed British Cycling to increase its influence on policy making at government level with British Cycling playing a key role in the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report, which was published earlier this year.
Key British Cycling achievements for the past year include:
- Growing British Cycling’s membership by over 29,000 members in the past year, surging from 49,000 to over 78,000 members currently.
- This amounts to a year on year growth of over 50% in the number of members (50% growth since Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in 2012).
- Winning 16 gold medals (eight in the Olympics, eight in the Paralympics) at London 2012.
- Two British winners of the Tour de France.
- Inspiring a million more people to take up cycling since 2009.
- Being named as the Governing Body of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards.
- Supporting a surge in new cycling clubs – 100 new clubs have formed in the past 12 months bringing the total number of clubs in Great Britain to 1,700.
- More people participating in personal challenge rides – over 76,500 riders have participated in non-competitive events so far this year, equating to a 30% increase on last year.
- More cyclists competing in more events - there are almost 3,500 cycling events taking place each year with over 170,000 people racing.
- More young people competing - Over 359,000 opportunities for young people to experience coaching and competition have been delivered through the Go-Ride Programme since 2009.
- The launch of a new strategy to get one million more women cycling by 2020.
- Bringing international events to the UK – Manchester is hosting the Track World Cup in November and British Cycling is bidding to host the 2016 Track host the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the London 2012 Velodrome
- Standing up for the issues that matter to cyclists – British Cycling is part of the government’s justice review group, and the cycling stakeholder forum set up by the Department for Transport. The Mayor of London recently consulted British Cycling on his cycling vision for the capital.