A two day cycling “festival” will be the first event based in the Olympic Park when it reopens next summer, Mayor Boris Johnson has announced.
Addressing business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos today, Johnson said the event would bring a new wave of tourists to the capital and generate jobs.
The Mayor predicted the weekend of cycling-related activities would attract over 200,000 visitors from outside, generating “tens of millions of pounds”.
A family fun ride will see up to 70,000 cyclists take part in an eight mile journey past London’s iconic landmarks. The weekend will also include a 100 mile course beginning in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for 35,000 amateur, club and world class elite cyclists.
Mayor Johnson said: “This spectacular event will help ensure that the 2012 Games are just the start, not the end of the benefits of hosting the Olympics.
“We are already creating long lasting opportunities for the Park and the capital, which will showcase London to the world, attract more visitors, create more jobs and support the economy.”
Reacting to the Mayor’s announcement, London Assembly member Jenny Jones said: “We all enjoy a party, but I am worried that the Mayor is neglecting the basics and that is putting cyclists safety at risk.
“The energy and money which has gone into high profile schemes like cycle hire and the cycling superhighways, has not gone into improving cycling facilities for the rest of London. The plans for a network of cycle lanes across London had their funding withdrawn, and cycle safety has not improved in the last four years.”