2009 marked the arrival of the Team Sky ProCycling with the very ambitious goal in mind "To win the Tour De France within 5 years". As with any new team joining the ranks of the pro peloton they were overshadowed with the need to prove themselves Team Sky were provided with a huge sponsorship worth around £30 million from BSkyB with the addition of sponsorship from both News Corporation and Sky Italia some thought Team Sky were not worthy with such a huge budget and snapping up top class riders and luxury team buses. Clearly Team Sky were a force to be reckoned for 2010 and beyond.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and you will find that Bradley Wiggins has won the 2012 Tour De France and claimed and Olympic Gold medal for the Mens Individual Time Trial. From these successes the whole of British Cycling were ecstatic and the people of the United Kingdom are either dusting off their bicycles or purchasing shiny new ones.
By the time the Olympics came round British media went into overdrive from all the successes at the Tour De France. Cyclists around the United Kingdom began to feel like the rock was being pulled from above them and they could finally see some light for cycling. Media attention was something UK Cycling had fell short of according to a LSE Study in 2011 Cycling was worth £3 Billion a year to UK economy. For an industry boasting such a high worth towards the economy it was surely only a matter of time before cycling really began to be noticed by the wider public.
As a nation having an ambassador as Bradley Wiggins is a huge step forward in terms of not only the road safety and awareness for cyclists but also for the support of the UK amateur and Elite racing scene. Many of our road races are on open roads which pose many dangers obviously one such danger is vehicles unfortunately many of the road races do not have police presence and if they do then high and inconsistent charges for their presence is applied. This generates high entry fees for racing and can have a negative effect on the amount of entrants.
Hopefully with the successes of our British Cyclists this Summer the government will be more keen to work with British Cycling and our race organisers to make cycle races more safe on open roads and in the hope for drivers to become more aware of cyclists and enforce new rules regarding the approach drivers have when overtaking cyclists. Myself and Jason have already seen some positive effects from the success of british cycling since the Olympics people cheering us on whislt out riding, calling us Chris Hoy and Go Team GB. Clearly cyclists have been noticed now for the correct reasons and hopefully a sign of good things to come.
Finally we would like to thank Illustrator Alan Heighton who has kindly supplied us with his superb illustration of Bradley Wiggins. Alan's illustration is also available for purchase over at Romster Bikewear.