SIR CHRIS HOY, Britain’s most successful Olympian, has raced against the biggest names in cycling …but next month he will find himself alongside thousands of ordinary Scottish cyclists of all ages in his home city.
Sir Chris, who won gold in the keirin and team sprint at the London Olympics, has agreed to take part in Sky Ride Edinburgh on Saturday, September 8.
The free cycling event, which is being held in the capital for the first time, will allow cyclists to ride on traffic-free streets, taking in landmarks from the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace to Arthur’s Seat.
Sky Ride Edinburgh will be the 14th City Event of Sky Ride 2012. The national campaign, which aims to get one million people cycling regularly by next year, includes free events, activities, information and support.
Sir Chris said he was looking forward to the event.
He said: “For the last four years I’ve been proud to support Sky Ride, which gives people the inspiration to get out on their bike and the unique opportunity to enjoy cycling with family and friends on traffic-free streets.
“It has been a great summer for cycling and I can’t wait to see everyone motivated by Team GB’s success come together to enjoy a fantastic event.”
The mass bike ride through the capital, will also be attended by Sky Ride celebrity ambassador, presenter Edith Bowman, will run from 9.30am until 3.30pm.
Participants will be able to ride at their own pace, and as much or as little of the route as they choose. Recent Sky Rides in Birmingham and Manchester are said to have attracted between 15,000 and 20,000 cylists. When Sir Chris took part in a similar event in Glasgow in August 2010, more than 13,000 people joined in.
PEDAL POWER: Sir Chris Hoy joined Lorraine Kelly at the Sky Ride event in Glasgow in 2010, and will appear in his home city of Edinburgh next month. Picture: Nick Ponty
The Sky Ride is one of a handful of high-profile cycling events taking place in Scotland in the space of a few days. A day later, 9000 people will gather for the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland.
The challenge ride is a 47-mile journey between Glasgow and Edinburgh, while the route of the 110-mile Sportive Ride, introduced in 2010, has been made considerably harder this year with 2400m of ascent.
The event is being supported by charity partner Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres for the fourth year. Ian Aitken, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, said: “freshnlo Pedal for Scotland has developed into one of Scotland’s leading mass participation events.
“We have had a huge summer for cycling and we are expecting a great turnout for the event. It’s a hugely fun day out for all.”
On Tuesday, September 11, the third leg of the Tour of Britain will unfold between Jedburgh and Dumfries, signalling its presence in Scotland for the second year in succession.
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