Birmingham Velo to return next year
Velo Birmingham will be back next year, say organisers who have heralded the weekend's 100-mile cycle race as an 'exceptional' event.
And they have revealed that more than £2million was raised for charity by the 15,000 cyclists who took part on Sunday.
The cycle event started in Birmingham city centre before cutting through Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Sandwell and Dudley.
But it did not come without drama.
Tacks were placed on parts of the route by people unhappy about the disruption road closures would cause.
There was also problems on the day, with a bride struggling to get to a wedding at the Blakelands Country House.
People with tickets for organised stunt driving days at Halfpenny Green Airport were unable to make the event.
However, many communities did welcome the event.
Hundreds lined the streets of Stourbridge, Belbroughton, Kinver and Bewdley to cheer on the riders.
Jon Ridgeon, executive chairman of CSM Active, organisers of Vélo Birmingham, said: “We would like to thank all of our local authority partners for helping us make the first ever Vélo Birmingham a truly unforgettable event for the Midlands.
“It was incredible to witness communities right along the route embrace the event and cheer on the thousands of riders who were taking on this epic challenge.
“Our riders have raised around £2 million for both local and national charities which is an incredible achievement and of course we thank them for their heroic efforts.
“Vélo Birmingham will return next year and we have no doubt that it will be even more exceptional than the inaugural edition.
“This event has the potential to be one of the world’s most iconic cycling events, a stalwart event in the British sporting calendar and a fantastic shop window for the Midlands and we look forward to working with our local authority partners to help make this vision a reality.”
When asked about next year's route, organisers say it is too early to say, although people wanting to take part can pre-register.
Vélo Birmingham’s four charities – Cure Leukaemia, Alzheimer’s Society, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity Birmingham and NSPCC – along with many others will receive an estimated £2m.
Interim Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “My congratulations to everyone who completed the inaugural Vélo Birmingham cycle.
“It was great to see the 15,000 cyclists cross the start line and hear about so many people coming out to support the cyclists along the route.
Among those crossing the Broad Street finish line was England Rugby World Cup-winning captain and Vélo Birmingham Ambassador Martin Johnson.