Trott launches cycling 'marathon'

Double gold medal winner Laura Trott has helped launch an annual cycling event weekend for London which will include a 100-mile "Marathon" bike ride.

Trott, 20, looked on as London Mayor Boris Johnson outlined the Ride London event which will be first held next year.

"This will be a wonderful event for our city," said Mr Johnson.

As well as the 100-mile event, there will be a classic event for top cyclists, with the likes of Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins and also Mark Cavendish, possibly taking place. In addition, there will be an eight-mile "free cycle" event to encourage "ordinary" people to take to two wheels.

"This will be a great way of getting people involved with cycling," said Trott, who took gold in the cycling team pursuit and omnium.

RideLondon will take place over the weekend beginning August 3 2013 and will be managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership - a joint venture between the organisers of the London Marathon and the Tour of Britain.

Aimed at amateur, club and elite cyclists, the event could attract more than 200,000 visitors from outside the capital, lead to a major boost in cycling numbers and generate tens of millions of pounds in economic benefit. Online registration is now open for cyclists to register their interest in RideLondon.

The eight-mile family fun ride will be for up to 70,000 cyclists on a loop of closed roads around London's landmarks. The next day will feature the 100-mile ride for up to 20,000 amateur, club and world-class elite cyclists. It will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and will be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race.

Mr Johnson said: "We need to capitalise on the incredible achievements of Team GB's Olympic cyclists whose superhuman efforts will inspire thousands more Londoners to take to two wheels."

RideLondon will aim to be the largest charity fundraising cycle ride in the world and organisers will be able to draw on the experience of the London Marathon team within the partnership. Since the London Marathon started, participants have raised huge amounts for good causes and in 2011 they raised £51.8 million.