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Vélo Birmingham launches

Published: Thursday, 22nd September 2016

The inaugural Vélo Birmingham was launched officially at the NEC Cycle Show today (September 22) following a teaser campaign that generated more than 30,000 pre-registrations.

Birmingham Cycle Revolution logo

Organised by CSM Active in partnership with Birmingham City Council, the event will combine a 15,000-capacity, 100-mile closed road sportive with the third edition of the Birmingham BikeFest, the free cycling festival which includes a closed road family ride along with fun cycling related activities for all ages.

Starting in the heart of Birmingham city centre on Sunday, September 24, 2017, the 100-mile closed road sportive will take riders of all levels of ability on an unforgettable route through Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Sandwell and Dudley before returning to Birmingham.

Entries aren’t open yet, but prospective participants have until 5pm on Wednesday, September 28 to pre-register for the sportive. Entries will go on sale exclusively to those who have pre-registered at 8am on Thursday, September 29 during a Priority Booking Window and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. With more than 30,000 pre-registrations to date, demand for the 15,000 entries is anticipated to be huge.

Prospective participants will also have the option of entering through one of Vélo Birmingham’s lead charity partners – Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Cure Leukaemia and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. There will also be a Vélo Birmingham Business 100 entry option which provides companies with the opportunity to enjoy a VIP participation experience coupled with an exclusive training and networking event attended by former England rugby captain Martin Johnson, ex-professional cyclist David Millar and legendary cycling journalist David Walsh.

The third edition of the Birmingham BikeFest will take place as part of the Vélo Birmingham weekend. Combining a closed road family ride with cycling activities to suit all ages and abilities, it provides residents of Birmingham and the surrounding areas with a fantastic opportunity to have a completely free, fun and healthy day out with all the family. The second edition of the Birmingham BikeFest took place last Sunday September 18 and was a resounding success. Plans are already under way to make 2017’s edition even bigger and better.

Vélo Birmingham is the flagship event of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution – a Birmingham City Council initiative aiming to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years. Through investing in cycling infrastructure including the creation of new cycle paths, improvement of cycle conditions on popular main roads and new, secure cycle parking hubs, by 2033 it is hoped that 10% of all trips in the city will be made by bike.

Speaking of the launch of Vélo Birmingham, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward said: “Vélo Birmingham is a huge event for Birmingham and we are extremely excited to welcome 15,000 cyclists from all over the UK to our magnificent city next September. The event will further strengthen Birmingham’s credentials as a modern and dynamic city capable of hosting large scale sporting events and will also serve as a powerful awareness platform for the Birmingham Cycle Revolution. The benefits of hosting an event such as Vélo Birmingham are plentiful, not least in terms of economic impact, charity fundraising and how it will inspire Birmingham residents to take up the sport of cycling and complete a challenge of a lifetime.”

These sentiments were echoed by Jon Ridgeon, executive chairman of organiser CSM Active, who said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to make the first ever Vélo Birmingham a triumph. The unique combination of the family friendly BikeFest with the epic challenge of a 100 mile closed road sportive means that everyone will have the opportunity to get involved in what promises to be a truly spectacular weekend celebration of cycling. We are delighted to see the huge demand for the 100-mile sportive and urge all pre-registrants to secure their place on the start line as soon as entries open on the 29th to avoid missing out.”

Lord Sebastian Coe, executive chairman of Chime Sports Management (CSM), CSM Active’s parent company, said: “The launch of Vélo Birmingham is a hugely significant milestone for CSM and it extremely encouraging to see how well the event has been received. Vélo Birmingham is the first event in what is going to be an extremely diverse portfolio of large scale mass participation events owned and organised by CSM Active. Cycling is very much part of CSM Active’s core strategy and we look forward to developing our footprint in the sport in years to come.”

Martin Johnson CBE, who was present at the launch event at the NEC Cycle Show, said: “As a cycling fanatic, it’s hugely exciting to see an event of this scale coming to my home town. Cycling on closed roads is absolutely exhilarating and I can’t wait to be one of 15,000 riders on the start line next September 24. My advice to anyone who is tempted to enter but is doubting their ability to complete 100 miles would be to just take the plunge and go for it! I speak from experience when I say that with the right training it’s an extremely achievable goal. Completing a century ride is a huge accomplishment and the feeling when you cross the finish line will be worth all the hard work.”

Notes to editors

About CSM Active:

CSM Active is the new active lifestyle division of CSM. Our mission is simple – to deliver outstanding mass participation events that will inspire people to lead a more active lifestyle. Vélo Birmingham is the first event in what promises to develop into an iconic and broad portfolio of large scale mass participation sporting events.

For more information, please contact

About Birmingham Cycle Revolution:

Birmingham Cycle Revolution is a Birmingham City Council initiative that aims to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years, with 5% of all trips in the city being made by bike by 2023, doubling this again to 10% by 2033. This will help to make the city healthier, greener, safer and less congested.

Birmingham Cycle Revolution’s objectives are to:

  • Improve cycling conditions on popular main roads and parallel routes into the city centre;
  • Provide quiet cycling routes and 20mph areas within residential areas;
  • Upgrade towpaths on canals;
  • Develop new cycling green routes through parks and open spaces;
  • Improve local links to cycle routes;
  • Provide new secure cycle parking hubs;
  • Develop cycle loan and hire schemes to make it easier for people to get started.

People can even get rewarded for cycling with the Better Points app.

Birmingham Cycle Revolution includes Big Birmingham Bikes – a programme of free bikes, bike loan and hire, cycle training and activities in communities to encourage cycling. For more information on the project, progress updates or how you can get involved please contact the Birmingham Cycle Revolution team by email at, tweet us @BCRBirmingham or like Birmingham Cycle Revolution on Facebook.

Additionally, Birmingham has been awarded a £1.2 million grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) to enable the Bikeability scheme, designed to give tens of thousands of children the skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely on the city’s roads, to continue until March 2020.

Birmingham Cycle Revolution is part of the council’s Birmingham Connected vision for the future of transport in Birmingham, working towards a safer, healthier, greener city with a reliable integrated transport system which supports our growing population and economy. To find out more visit

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