The gold medal bonanza in cycling at the Beijing Olympics will raise cash for and boost interest in British cycling.
Broadcaster BSkyB, which recently signed up to sponsor British Cycling, is set to reap the benefits, as is next month’s Tour of Britain event.
The broadcaster signed a multi-million pound five-year deal to sponsor British Cycling, the sport’s governing body, just a month ago. Sky says its first area of focus is the Sky Sports London Freewheel, which takes place on Sunday, September 21.
The event is being launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is closing many central London roads for the day to encourage Londoners to get their bikes out and ride in a traffic-free London. Sky hopes some of Britain’s Olympic cycling champions will back the event.
Double gold medallist Bradley Wiggins will be joined by Tour de France hero Mark Cavendish in a team sponsored by the Columbia sportswear brand at Tour of Britain, which begins on September 7. Fellow Olympic champion, Geraint Thomas, part of the winning pursuit team, will also ride, as will bronze winner Chris Newton.
Tour of Britain says it hopes the Olympians will be a “huge pull” for the public and it plans to focus on their attendance in its communications, through its website and other digital activity.
It is also expected that triple gold medalist Chris Hoy will be able to command numerous lucrative sponsorship deals following the Beijing Games, where he became the first Briton in a century to win three gold medals at the same Games.