May 2, 2012 – Britain’s world-beating cyclists have been given a boost less than three months out from the London Olympics after British Cycling and main sponsor Sky announced a four-year extension to their current deal.
It means Sky will be the national body’s main sponsor until the end of 2016. With Britain’s track squad among the best in the world and the road squad boasting the likes of world champion Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins – a Tour de France contender – Britain is already a major player on a stage once reserved for Europeans.
Ian Drake, British Cycling’s chief executive, hopes the continued partnership continues to pay dividends in the years to come.
“The growth of our sport over the past four years has been amazing,” he told www.teamsky.com.
“Not only have our Olympic and Paralympic riders continued to deliver on the world stage, but we’ve also seen the emergence of Team Sky as a force on the road scene. Being a world leading cycling nation isn’t just about winning medals – it’s also about inspiring everyone to get on a bike, from the playground right through to the podium. I’m proud of what we have achieved through our partnership with Sky, and I look forward to delivering even greater success over the next few years.”
Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy said events like Sky Ride – whose aim is to make cycling accessible to all walks of life and promote the sport at grass roots level – could ultimately contribute to the nation’s success at elite level.
“We’ve all seen the difference that Sky can make in cycling,” said Hoy. “Through events like Sky Ride – opening up cities for families or providing local led rides – they have helped get people back on their bikes. Their work with British Cycling has got more people to understand and enjoy the sport we’re all passionate about. And the support for elite riders has helped the current team and will go on to support the next generation.”
Sky Ride has offered mass participation rides on traffic-free streets, with over 200,000 people participating in over 20 city events last summer alone.
Local events offer people of all ages and abilities the chance to join small, weekly community rides guided by a British Cycling trained leader.