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Cookson: Tour victory to boost cycling participation numbers

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Image: Wiggins is the first Briton to win the Tour

British Cycling President Brian Cookson has predicted that Bradley Wiggins' historic Tour de France victory will raise the profile of the sport throughout the UK - and result in more people taking up cycling.

"It's going to have a big, galvanising effect on our sport," Cookson said. "We've already seen the impact of the success in track cycling at the Olympics last time.

"That's a quite specialised discipline but I think everyone can relate to riding a bike on the road up the hills and dales and it's something that I'm sure is going to have an immediate effect on participation numbers.

"The way I see it is that governing bodies in themselves don't make sports champions but our job is to give them the circumstances where their natural ability, talent and dedication can thrive.

"Bradley has been one of the first to say that a lot of his success has been down to the support and encouragement that he's received - Bradley has come up through our structures and our systems.

"That's what we can do with other talented riders coming through the system. We've shown that over the last ten years or so - that we can find people with amazing natural ability, we can find people with dedication and can give them the support and encouragement that will allow them to reach the very top of the sport."

One of the immediate results of Wiggins' success was London mayor Boris Johnson announcing that the city would bid for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships - to be held at the Olympic Park's new velodrome.

Johnson said Wiggins' triumph at the Tour on Sunday would encourage thousands more people to take to two wheels and that he wants the capital to "play its own part".

Image: Yoann MORIN/Shutterstock.com

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British Cycling President Brian Cookson has predicted that Bradley Wiggins' historic Tour de France victory will raise the profile of the sport throughout the UK - and result in more people taking up cycling.
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