UK’s biggest cycle race to finish in Central London

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London: "The Tour of Britain is an inspiring event” 7th May 2009: World class cycle racing will return to the streets of London this September, as the Tour of Britain cycle race finishes its eight day UK tour in the Capital.

On Saturday 19 September, 96 professional cyclists will race for 92.5 kilometres on a central London circuit that takes in some of London’s most iconic landmarks. The 9.25 kilometre route will start and finish on Whitehall, taking the riders along the banks of the Thames, through the City of London, and past Big Ben, Cleopatra’s Needle, Somerset House, and the Tower of London.

This is the sixth time that Transport for London (TfL) has bought the Tour of Britain, the largest free-to-attend sporting event in the country, to the Capital. It will also finish here in 2010 and 2011.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: "The Tour of Britain is an inspiring event, which can only help to encourage more and more people to get involved with cycling. I’m pleased that London can once again play its part, and I’m sure that this year will be a great success – helping us on our way to becoming a true cycling city."

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “Cycling is undergoing a real revolution in the Capital, with Londoners getting out on their bikes in numbers not seen in decades. Events such as the Tour of Britain help inspire people to try out cycling for themselves, and are a really important part of Transport for London’s work to encourage and promote cycling in the Capital.”

Visit London interim Chief Executive Sally Chatterjee said:  “London is the ideal iconic backdrop to host the final stage of the Tour of Britain and we are delighted that this is the first of three finals which will take place in the Capital. Cycling is a fantastic way for everyone to enjoy the city whether you’re a top professional or a leisure visitor. The race is a great way to get that message across and I’m delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain back to the streets of London once again.”

The Capital has seen an 91 per cent increase in the number of cycle journeys on London’s major roads since 2000, with an estimated 500,000 cycle journeys made everyday.

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