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Ambitious plan to secure Britain's cycling future
British Cycling unveiled its Whole Sport Plan on Tuesday, a four-year programme designed to ensure the ongoing future of cycling in the United Kingdom. It announced that it will implement a range of initiatives to help the development of British cycling from its grass roots to elite level competition.
"With increased funding and fantastic public and commercial partnerships on board, we finally have the resources in place to drive real progress in all areas of our sport," said Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling.
The plan encompasses both public campaigns and targeted programmes designed to increase involvement in cycling. Plans include increasing the number of cycling clubs and to develop "traffic-free facilities".
British Cycling also announced plans to increase the number of international events hosted in Britain. Recently, it confirmed the that the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships will be held in Birmingham and a round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup hosted at Dalby Forest, Yorkshire.
Two high profile components of the Whole Sport Plan have already been started. Last month, broadcaster Sky and British Cycling announced Skyride, a series of mass participation events created to encourage Britons to use bicycles as a form of transport.
Skyride followed last year's announcement of the new Great Britain-based professional road team, Team Sky. The team will begin competing next year. One of its goals is to produce a British winner in the Tour de France by 2014.
The Whole Sport Plan was been announced during a period of high cycling awareness amongst Brits. Cycling benefited from the national Olympic team's success at last year's Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games. With the plan scheduled to run through 2013, it will be in action for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be in London.
"We have a once in a lifetime opportunity in the run up to London 2012 to really engage Britain with cycling," said Drake.