JUNE 27 - CYCLING'S growing status and popularity in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics in Britain has been underlined again by the Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown has hosted a reception to announce plans for a major new annual international six-day race and cycling festival next year.
It coincides with the announcement yesterday by British Cycling's performance director David Brailsford that Britain plans to enter a team in the 2010 Tour de France with the hope of winning the race within five years.
The event, which will be held in the Olympic Host Borough of Newham, will be organised by Britain's former double world champion and six-day star Tony Doyle.
A portable timber will be shipped in to host the event.
Brown said: “This is a great celebration today and I do welcome all of you to 10 Downing Street.
“The first person I wish to thank is Tony Doyle for all the hard work he has put in into making the 'On Track 6' festival a reality.”
“Certainly, (the Six-Day Festival) is a unique event that will ignite energy and excitement in the local community,” he added.
“And it will give the public an opportunity to see world class athletes perform in London three years ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
“This six-day event you will be promoting will send a message to the whole of the UK and hopefully around the world, the importance that we attach to cycling.”
“More people are cycling.
"What tremendous success for Britain's cyclists at the World championships in Manchester this year, nine gold medals.
"medals at the last Olympics, two golds and four silver.
"That was an outstanding achievement and I look forward to seeing our cyclists continue to flourish in Beijing and in the 2012 Games, and that the world-class velodrome being built for the Games will facilitate the continuation of that success well beyond 2012.
“This is a sport which has had spectacular success for Britain and is going from strength to strength.
“We hope to invest more in the sport.
Best wishes for the Six-Day event.
"Best wishes for the preparations for the Olympics.
"This is a sport we can be so proud of, especially as it encourages young people into sport, into fitness and hopefully hundreds of thousands of people will take up cycling.
“All strength to what you are doing.”