Olympic cyclists join London Freewheel

Celebrities and athletes take part in mass bike ride

Beijing cycling heroes Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Ed Clancy, Jamie Staff and Shanaze Reade, as well as rugby legend Austin Healey and Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee, joined Mayor Boris Johnson and tens of thousands of cyclists at last weekend’s Sky Sports London Freewheel.

Some of the city’s major roads were closed, enabling cyclists to ride through a traffic-free central London.

Participants followed a 12km route that took them past some of London's most famous landmarks, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament and BuckinghamPalace.

“It was great fun being able to really soak up some of the capital’s most famous sights and to see so many young cyclists and families out enjoying themselves,” said Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy. “This was a perfect way to encourage Londoners to get on their bikes.”

“I really enjoyed getting a completely new perspective on some of London’s most iconic landmarks,” added rugby star Austin Healey. “It was so incredible seeing the Mall filled with thousands of people on their bikes, without a car in sight.”

In addition to traffic free streets, there were also bike related activities and entertainment throughout the day. British Cycling coaches were on hand to help members of the public build their confidence in the saddle and cyclists had the opportunity to test themselves against the GB Cycling Team in the Sky Sports Sprint Challenge.

“Being able to pit myself against a gold medal cyclist like Victoria Pendleton was amazing,” said Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee, “and not something I thought I’d ever get the chance to do. It was pretty exhausting, though!"

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