Prudential RideLondon: Joanna Rowsell hosts highest cycling class in Europe at The Shard

Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell believes the spirit of 2012 is alive and well as she gears up for the third annual Prudential RideLondon this summer.

Rowsell, who won gold in the team pursuit at London 2012, was on hand to deliver the highest ever cycling masterclass at The Shard last week with a host of stellar names including Rugby World Cup winner Martin Johnson.

As well as being able to pass on some tricks of the trade to Johnson and Olympians Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards, the event marked the launch of this year’s event.

Prudential RideLondon is the world’s largest festival of cycling, which will take place across London on August 1-2 and will see Rowsell take part in the Surrey 100 mile charity ride.

And she believes that RideLondon is the culmination of a British cycling boom that she hopes to see continue over the coming years.

“I came to RideLondon in its first year and it was a fantastic experience then and I’m back and raring to go,” she said.

“I’m doing the 100-mile sportif and I’ve never actually ridden that distance before but I’m from Surrey I know all the roads really well and it goes close to where I grew up.

“Cycling has boomed in the last few years, when I started I used to go out training ten years I go if I saw another cyclists I would come home and saw wow I saw another cyclists today.

“After the Olympics people always talked about legacy and I think RideLondon is a fantastic event to take hold of that and harness it.

“Without actually holding an event it is difficult to maintain that and with this you are providing full closed roads on what is pretty much the Olympic road race course.

“Everyone wants to be a part of it and it is the biggest event on the cycling calendar and it has so much interest and excitement around it.”

It is the second year that former England skipper Johnson is taking park in the event and he believes it has become the London Marathon of the cycling calendar.

“To ride through London closed streets is fantastic and they are always good fun and to finish on the Mall is a hell of a thing to do,” he said.

“It’s a great event and the lads I ride with are all desperate to get in it and it’s like the marathon.

“They are good fun and at the end of it you always think that it was a good challenge and London has got the sights and closed roads.

“Riding closed through any city is a great opportunity but to do it in London is really special.”

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