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British Cycling refines its Grand Depart experience

British Cycling, the internationally recognised governing body of cycling in the UK, has released its final plans for outreach and recreational programs in conjunction with the Tour de France's prologue and first stage.

In support of its advocacy of cycling to British youth, British Cycling has deployed Go-Ride Coaches to key London cycling venues and in surrounding schools in 2006 and 2007. Nationally, the organisation’s Go-Ride clubs have been encouraged to put on public sessions, aimed at recruiting new members and connecting with young people inspired by the Tour. In the 4 weeks leading up to the Tour, 35 clubs plan to run sessions of this kind.

British Cycling will also support Cyclefest in Maidstone on Friday 6th July, which will combine school and public Go-Ride ‘come-and-try-it’ sessions. The event focuses around cycling as both a sport and mode of transport and has been planned in partnership with Maidstone Borough Council.

Other events include a Children’s Day in the centre of Gravesend on Saturday 7th and, as the first Tour de France stage finishes in Canterbury, Go-Ride ‘come-and-try-it’ sessions open to the public as well as a full programme of Circuit racing in Hyde Park on Sunday 8th July in Hyde Park (including events for Youths, Women, Trikes and Disabled cyclists).

British Cycling will also provide support for the British stage running of “Opération Cadets-Juniors." Organised by ASO and AG2R, this event takes place over the first and last 20km of each stage of the Tour de France. The riders for the Canterbury stage will be selected from 15-18 year olds in and around London and Canterbury. Riders will complete the first 20km and last 20km of the race route. Two of our Go-Ride clubs, Team Darenth and Sutton CC, have provided riders of a suitable age for this event.

The biggest participatory event surrounding the visit by the Tour de France on British soil will come at the hand of the British Cyclosportive; which will include 5000 participants cycling a route based on that of the first Road stage of the Tour on 1 July, one week before the race itself.

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