A Tooting student insists a cycling masterclass from Sir Bradley Wiggins has boosted his confidence on the bike as he prepares to ride 46 miles as part of the Prudential RideLondon.
Ernest Bevin College pupil Sebastien Espin met the seven-time Olympic medallist and Tour de France champion at the launch event of the Prudential RideLondon, ahead of taking to the capital’s roads on July 31.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 is a new event for 2016 for 16-18-year-olds that celebrates the legacy created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will follow a route on closed roads through the city and into the stunning Surrey countryside.
The largest annual cycling fundraising event on the planet, the Prudential RideLondon has raised over £17million since its inception in 2013.
And for 19-year-old Espin, who will be riding for London-based charity Greenhouse Sports, meeting Wiggins proved an inspirational moment.
“I got involved with Greenhouse Sports when I was in year nine,” he said. “At that time, I was struggling with my work and struggling to get fit, so they helped me get into sport.
“They constantly provide different ways of motivating us such as events like this, and there are some fantastic benefits to being involved with the club.
“It has been great to be given the chance to meet Bradley, because he is a great inspiration. He is a great guy and he’s pretty fast on his bike, so it has been amazing to meet him.
“One of the reasons I wanted to get involved with the bike ride was because I love cycling, so I jumped right at the opportunity.
“It’s very important for clubs like Greenhouse and the people they help to be supported by companies like Prudential, because they are helping to develop young people and their communities.
“I think it is going to be a great experience, but I have never done a long bike ride before so I’m going have to train and get into shape.”
At the launch Espin spent time speaking with Wiggins, and the Tour de France winner believes taking part in the spectacle on Sunday July 31 will hopefully go a long way to helping inspire the participants to fulfil their potential.
“It doesn’t take much to be inspired, I watched the Olympic Games in 1992 and I was inspired by watching the cycling there and that was thousands of miles away,” Wiggins said.
“It is the first time a lot of them will have been on a proper bike and to think in four or five months time they will be doing close to 50 miles around the closed streets of London, it is a huge opportunity for them.
“A lot of them don’t quite realise the potential they have got and I think that is the key to it. This is just the start for them, if they achieve this they can achievement anything.”
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 takes place on Sunday, July 31. For more information or to enter visit prudentialridelondon.co.uk