Olympic legacy gets youngsters on their bikes

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Britain’s cycling heroes have inspired record numbers of youngsters in West Sussex to get on their bikes, according to figures from British Cycling.

The number of young British Cycling members is soaring, with under 18 membership increasing by 56 per cent across the South East region in the past year.

Cycling clubs in the region are also experiencing an influx of new young riders, with British Cycling reporting a significant increase in cyclists at all of its 73 Go-Ride clubs across the South East – 11 of which formed in the past year.

British Cycling Regional Development Manager for the South East, Luke Anderson, explains: “The Go-Ride programme provides a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport. That’s everything from mountain biking and BMX, to the track events the world watched in the London Velodrome last year.

“Success on the podium at the Olympics and the triumphs at the Tour de France have clearly inspired the next generation to get involved – and this interest is still going strong.”

The cycling clubs across the South East region are hosting an increasing number of entry-level youth cycling races, with 63 Go-Ride Racing events already planned since January 2013. Go-Ride Racing events help youngsters to make their first steps into competitive racing and aim to encourage potential talent. Over 60 per cent of the riders on the road to Rio in 2016 have developed from Go-Ride clubs, including Laura Trott, Lizzie Armistead and Jason Kenny.

Luke added: “We’ve been developing the Go-Ride programme in the South East region, to ensure that opportunities are provided for everyone who wants to get involved and to turn that inspiration into participation.”

British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme has provided over 410,000 opportunities for youngsters to get involved in cycling since 2009. This included over 50,000 young people who took their first steps into competitive cycle sport through Go-Ride Racing.

To find out how to get involved in cycling in your area, please visit www.britishcyling.org.uk/go-ride.