Cycling version of London Marathon mooted?

Up to 30,000 riders, according to London Evening Standard

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is hoping to emulate South Africa's Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour, according to reports

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Mayor of London and cycling fanatic Boris Johnson is hoping to mirror the success of the London Marathon by staging a similar cycling event in England’s capital, according to the London Evening Standard.

In documents seen by the paper, the event – dubbed the “London Marathon On Wheels” – is first scheduled for 2013 and would see up to 30,000 amateur riders hit the road. As with the marathon, it would include an elite event and be televised live on the BBC

The document says it would be organised by the UCI, who the paper say are considering bids from nine UK cities to host a British leg of their new World Cycling Tour. This gives amateur cyclists a chance to compete for a world title.

The race is modelled on South Africa’s annual Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour and the numbers involved would see it challenge the Argus as the largest timed cycling event in the world.

According to the Standard, there are four routes being touted, between 37 and 74 miles in length. The 2012 Olympic road race route with a start and finish at The Mall; a central London route following the north and south circular; a course that begins and ends in the Olympic Park, with several central London landmarks (and Essex) in between; and finally a similar route to the opening stage of the 2007 Tour de France, with riders starting in Greenwich, heading south to Kent before finishing in central London.

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BikeRadar has contacted the Mayor of London’s office for confirmation on the story, and will report more details when we receive them.