Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year for cycling in London and this weekend promises to be a particularly fine one.
First, there’s the finale of the Tour of Britain on Saturday.
It’s running along the same Embankment course as last year but sensibly finishes on Whitehall instead of the riverside, making for a much better spectacle and better viewing for the fans.
Then on Sunday it’s the snappily titled Mayor of London’s Skyride which follows a similar route along the Embankment from St James and includes a loop into the city via St Paul’s.
It’s the only chance you’ll get to enjoy the sights and company of friends and family on closed roads this year. The very antithesis of a race, despite the best efforts of some, it’s a proper cycling event.
With Sky’s money most definitely on the table, there’s also bound to be plenty of the GB Olympic team in attendance, and I’d hazard that some of Team Sky’s new signings will hang around after the Tour of Britain to meet the public.
Incidentally, we haven’t heard what bikes they’ll be riding next year, or seen anything about the kit design. The rumours seem to be that:
- The kit will be adidas branded, if not necessarily manufactured by them. That would tally with them looking for a way back into the market, although no indication if it’ll be Mavic making their stuff again.
- Pinarello will supply the bikes. Would fit with the Sky need to have an Italian angle for their market there. Although I’m not clear why they’d want to fork out for another team when they’re essentially a high end specialist.
- Alternatively Giant seem to be in the frame, which would fit better given the breadth of the bikes in their range.
And where will I be this weekend? Newcastle Upon Tyne. Don’t ask.