The annual Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch took place on Saturday 13th October 2012. Many key players from the cycling sector were in attendance, including Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Triple Crown winner Stephen Roche, IG Sigma Sport's Daniel Lloyd, Tour of Britain pundit Matt Stephens, Endura Racing manager Brian Smith, Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, UK pro Yanto Barker and manager of Madison Genesis Under-23 road team Roger Hammond.
In its third year, the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch saw 150 members of the cyclosportive community come together to celebrate, what has arguably been, one of the most successful year's for British cycling in recent history. With notable cycling figureheads such as David Bellairs, the Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust and Eurosport's David Harmon, it provided the perfect networking environment to develop valuable relationships, reflect on the year's successes and to discuss the Strategic Directions for the cyclosportive events sector's future.
The day began with a relaxed ride, split into four speed groups, allowing networking to be done both in and out of the saddle.
All this was done both in the saddle and during lunch, creating a relaxed, friendly environment with serious decisions being made. David Bellairs commented that "there was no other event for the cycling sector like this in the World."
This year the finance industry was well represented at the event, with private equity players and investment bankers who have invested in the sector. David Brooks, Managing Director and Co-Head of Corporate Finance at Ingenious Media made it clear that sport was of growing importance, with bigger deals being brokered in cycling events across Europe.
The first Cyclosport Industry Award was also presented to David Bellairs for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which has been going for 35 years and has 40,000 participants from across the globe. This award acknowledges professionalism and achievement and organiser David Bellairs was there to collect the award.
Bellairs says: "It's an honour to receive this award. The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is the most successful sporting failure in Africa. It was designed to be a protest ride in Cape Town to spur on investment in infrastructure for cyclists. People in South Africa still dont commute like they do in London, but we do now have the largest, most successful timed cycle race in the World. I absolutely believe that London has the potential to overtake our event in size within a few years. The roads are full of cyclists, your drivers are much better behaved and more tolerant, the sport is growing fast here with the help of the professionalism brought about by Cyclosport and everyone present at the Industry Ride & Lunch."
David Bellairs collects the Cyclosport Industry Award 2012 with the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch sponsors, Matt Moran of Wattbike and Damien Duggan of Chain Reaction Cycles.
Since the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch began three years ago, it has tripled in size. This exemplifies the growth in the cyclosportive and cycling sector as a whole. The room was filled with optimism and the realisation that the legacy being built by this year's Tour de France and Olympic successes need to be nurtured. It was also noted that while the big events are getting bigger and the smaller events are being dominated by cycle clubs, standards need to be maintained and professionalism continued.
Damien Duggan, Head of Marketing at Chain Reaction Cycles, says: "This year's Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch was a great success and is testament to the growth of the sector. It was fantastic to catch up with old faces and make new contacts. There was much discussion on what's working, what needs to be done and the Strategic Direction the sector is taking. I look forward to working with many of the people there over the next year and getting the industry together again at the 2013 Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch."
The ride was followed by a well-deserved lunch
The day began with teas and coffees at 9.30am, then a 38 mile and 58 mile ride set out at 10.30am, followed by a three course lunch. After lunch there was a Q&A session hosted by Cyclosport Editor, Adam Tranter who interviewed many leading players, comprising David Bellairs, investor David Brooks, Yanto Barker, manager of Madison Genesis Under-23 road team Roger Hammond, Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Tour of Britain pundit Matthew Stephens, IG Sigma Sport's Daniel Lloyd, Team Manager of Endura Racing Brian Smith and Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt.
Cyclosport is the world's leading cyclosportive website and provides an interactive platform for cycling enthusiasts to plan their season and find out the latest in sportive news. Established in 2003 when UK sportives were in their infancy, they have seen the cyclosportive market expand into the booming industry it is today. Cyclosport.org offers the world's most comprehensive cyclosportives event listings, together with event previews and ratings as well as in depth articles and reports.
Recognised as the only up-to-date source for cyclosportive event information and dates, combined with regular updates from writers with a true passion for cycling, Cyclosport.org is an essential online destination for all cyclists wanting an inside track on cyclosportives and wider cycling news.
For more events and full details please visit www.cyclosport.org