Cycling scoops London tourism awards

By Ben Atkins, UK Editor in London The Tour de France Grand Depart and the Rapha-Condor Smithfield...

By Ben Atkins, UK Editor in London

The Tour de France Grand Depart and the Rapha-Condor Smithfield Nocturne scooped gold and bronze medals respectively in the Sports Tourism category of this year's Visit London Awards. The silver medal was won by Emirates Stadium Tours, which offer trips around the new Arsenal Football Club venue.

There were no surprises that the Tour de France scooped the award as it attracted an estimated two million visitors to Britain's capital, but the Smithfield Nocturne's medal was less obvious. The judges were impressed with the innovation and originality of the event that included a cycle couriers' race, a "Le Mans" style start folding bike commuter race as well as the elite criterium, and attracted an estimated crowd of over 5,000.

"We're over the moon." said Fran Millar of Face Partnership, the event promoters. "The event was a fantastic opportunity for us to work in London, our home city and superb venue for cycling. We look forward to making the Rapha Condor Smithfield Nocturne bigger and better next year."

The Visit London Awards are now in their third year and have become known as the "Oscars" or tourism in the capital. That cycling managed to win two of the medals is seen as a real boost for the sport, and two-wheeled transport in London.

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