industry Lunch & Ride 2012 The Annual Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch sets the Strategic Directions for the sector “The UK has the potential to host the World’s largest timed cycle event”. These were the encouraging words from David Bellairs, the Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust who organise the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, at the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch on 13th October 2012. In its third year, the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch saw 150 of the cyclosportive sector’s key players come together to celebrate, what has arguably been, one of the most successful year’s for British cycling in recent history. With notable cycling figureheads such Tour of Britain’s winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, David Bellairs and Eurosport’s David Harmon, it provided the perfect networking environment to develop valuable relationships,
Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, David Bellairs accepting the Cyclosport Industry Award 2012 with Wattbike’s Matt Moran and Chain Reaction Cycles Damien Duggan
reflect on the year’s successes and to discuss the Strategic Directions for the cyclosportive sector’s future. All this was done both in the saddle and during lunch and drinks. The backdrop was a relaxed, friendly environment with serious decisions being made. David Bellairs commented that “there is no other event for the cycling sector like this in the World.”
A positive future for the Cyclosportive Sector
The pre-lunch ride
The glowing endorsements from Bellairs along with Tour of Britain winner, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, made it clear that the future is looking bright for the sector. During the Q&A session, hosted
by Cyclosport Editor, Adam Tranter, Tiernan-Locke spoke of the “transformation in cycling with an increasing profile” concluding that “it’s a privilege to be part of something so big”. His comments were echoed around the room, with event organisers, sponsorship brokers, other pro cyclists,
￼ IG Sigma Sport’s Daniel Lloyd
Cyclosport Editor, Adam Tranter interviewing Tour of Britain winner, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. In the background from left to right, Yanto Barker, Magnus Backstedt and David Bellairs.
DAVID HARMON STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS As a non-cyclist, if you scanned the pages of the broadsheets over the last month you could very reasonably be forgiven for thinking that riding a bicycle is the rarified domain of the super talent and the super bad but you couldn’t be more wrong. The state of riding a bike is a state that hasn’t been in such rude health since the advent of the bicycling as a leisure activity in the late 19th Century when the very height of fashion was turning a pedal or two. Why then, when the greatest icon in the sport of professional cycling has been stripped bare and the duplicitous nature of those using the bicycle as a tool to extract loyalty and money from those around them has become crystal clear to the world, does riding a bicycle go from strength to strength? It’s because the bicycle is the ultimate extension of the honest human being; it’s freedom, it’s the great leveler, the supreme conductor of emotions, the world’s cleanest and greatest transport invention and the vehicle that carries both real superstars like Sir Chris Hoy, Graeme Obree or Mark Beaumont alongside you and I to new levels of self expression. Long may it be so. Modern cycling continues to evolve and
blossom with more citizens than ever taking back the streets and millions around the globe digging deep within themselves during the struggle of their first Sportive ride and it’s the personal challenge of the sportive that has proved the single greatest boost to the bicycle industry in the last 5 years. Sportives, far from polarizing the traditional club rider from the newly enthused one, have become the place where the knowledge and experience of the old school has met with the brash newness of the hairy legged rider and both have come out grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Rides like the Cape Argus Pick ‘n’ Pay, Dragon Ride, Lake Taupo Challenge and the HotChillee London–Paris have become brilliantly run, hugely enjoyable events that have embraced all comers. All you need is a bike, it’s that simple…it’s that pure. Like so many other old time bike riders I no longer feel the need to hide away as a lover of the bicycle. The world is at my fingertips and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years can bring as the rest of the world who doesn’t ride a bike discovers just what they are all missing. David Harmon, Eurosport commentator and the voice behind the Tour
retailers and brands all feeling confident in the direction the sector was taking. With a stellar year for British cycling and sport in general, the mass participation market is going from strength to strength and all industry players felt positive about the enormous opportunities being presented to the sector. Bellairs noted the amount of cyclists around London, and with the big rides getting even bigger the general consensus was that the momentum must be nurtured.
A rapid increase in professionalism in cycling as it moves mainstream
Magnus Backstedt, winner of 2004 Paris-Roubaix, also attended. During his career, he has seen the industry evolve with teams becoming more professional, rider development getting more sophisticated and more riders to choose from as cycling moves from the periphery to a more mainstream spot in British sports, thanks to the likes of Wiggins, Cavendish, Pendleton and Armitstead.
Pro Cyclist and Team Manager UK Youth, Yanto Barker
Tour of Britain pundit Matt Stephens
Repeating Backstedt’s sentiments was former British professional road racing cyclist and Tour of Britain pundit Matthew Stephens: “It’s amazing to see how the sport is perceived by the public now.
Former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt with HotChillee Founder, Sven Thiele
It’s become mainstream and we need to maintain this.”
2013 will prove to be the best year yet
Geoff Saxon, of sportive organisers Kilotogo, says: “It’s interesting to see how the
New Madison-Genesis Team Manager, Roger Hammond
cycling boom is manifesting itself. There are lots more people out on bikes. This is good for everyone, from retailers, to pros, to event organisers, but it’s not really kicked-in in the way we assumed it would. A few events have increased their participation, but not as much as expected. Out of our 12 events, we’ve seen 40 per cent growth in eight of them and the remaining four have remained static. There are however a lot more events out there and people new to cycling are bewildered by the choice. The wet summer hasn’t really helped translate the spark ignited by the Olympics and Tour into bike outings and many realise
that once you’ve purchased the bike you need to train for sportives. With this in mind, we should see the effects of 2012’s successes come to realisation in 2013. It will be interesting to catch-up with everyone again in 2013 to see how the year ahead has gone.” Nat Spurling from RiderHQ says: “We’ve seen a steady supply of new events in 2012, and even in the 12 months before the Olympics and Tour successes, we saw a strong increase in demand. The rate at which events sell out has also been interesting, for example, The Kentish Killer sold out in a month, versus three the year before. Some of this is down to a growing base of previous participants, but
increased use of social media also contributes. He continued: “Club membership has also seen significant growth. For example Dulwich Paragon CC has grown more than fivefold in recent years, becoming the largest club in the UK. More recent clubs like Bigfoot CC have also seen hundreds of new members and Club Cyclopark - created this year along with the new Cyclopark facility in Kent - has attracted members who are completely new to cycling. Clubs with strong junior and family membership options have been particularly popular.”
Cycling set to achieve critical mass
Dr Blumberg, Consumer Psychologist and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths University of London, attended the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch and says: “There is mounting evidence that cycling is the next big exercise wave as people increasingly look to
editor of Cyclosport
Cyclosport: What is your experience of the cycling sector in 2012? Adam Tranter: I’ve had a great deal of involvement with the cycling events world, as well as working with companies and athletes in terms of PR and the overall business development of the industry. 2012 has been a year I’ll never forget, and the busiest yet, but I think there is still more to come.
challenge now is for the industry to provide enough engaging mechanisms to keep them involved and developing their interest in cycling; it needs a joined up approach.
accurately assess who their market is and continue to provide interesting and intuitive events for people to do; there’s no way we can rest on our laurels – the market is moving too quickly.
Cyclosport: Do you have any supporting stats? Adam Tranter: In the summer this year, we had over 125,000 visitors to the site – a huge improvement on when we took it over 3 years ago.
Cyclosport: What do you think 2013 will bring? Adam Tranter: We’re unlikely to ever have the same platform again to show off cycling as a wonderful and accessible sport, but with Ride London looming and new consumers discovering the wonders of cycling, I’m expecting an even busier events calendar and improved professionalism as the focus on events moves towards the major players.
Cyclosport: What do you think the industry is doing well? What needs improving? Adam Tranter: The sportive market is doing well. But it’s self regulated and needs bringing together so that consumers know what to expect for a certain price point – at the moment there is nothing stopping people with no experience of organising events like these to do just that.
Cyclosport: Do you think the Olympics and Tour successes have made a difference? Did they make the difference you expected? Adam Tranter: Completely. There is a new breed of consumer now ready to get involved and willing to learn. The
Cyclosport: What do you think of the events on offer today? Adam Tranter: On the whole, there are some fantastic events on the sportive calendar. Like with any market, there are some which need improvement, but overall sportive organisers need to
Cyclosport: How did you find the Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch? Adam Tranter: It took a lot of organisation but I really enjoyed the day – it was great fun and a good opportunity to catch up with some of the industry’s players in an informal environment.
Matt Moran Wattbike
Cyclosport: What is your experience of the cycling sector in 2012? Matt Moran: 2012 has simply been the best year yet for Wattbike. We’ve seen an increased level of both awareness of Wattbike and of knowledge of training with power. There’s no doubting that Wattbike has benefited from the general surge in interest in cycling this year but we would specifically point towards Bradley Wiggins success at the Tour as opening up the discussion about training methods to a wider audience. The Olympics also proved to be a hit for Wattbike given that we had most of the major cycling nations using Wattbike to prepare for the Games, in addition to helping Champions in rowing, sailing and track and field.
A final thought here is that we’re probably one of the few brands in cycling who benefit from poor weather, the wet summer of 2012 meant more people continued to train indoors on their Wattbikes throughout the entire year.
British Cycling as Official Supplier meant we benefited from the success of the team in the velodrome through a yearning to understand how the GB team had performed to such a high standard again.
Cyclosport: Do you think the Olympics and Tour successes have made a difference? Did they make the difference you expected? Matt Moran: During both of these events there was an increased interest in training methods and given Wiggins preparation and execution of his Tour win was very much based around numbers we were nicely positioned as thought leaders in this area of cycling. Our relationship with
Cyclosport: What do you think the industry is doing well? What needs improving? Matt Moran: The quality of sportives is increasing every year, and so are the expectations. Participants want more than a four hour ride with a timing chip attached to their bike. There’s a big opportunity to help riders prepare for events through the provision of good quality training advice, keeping the riders engaged for much longer than a Sunday morning in August. This increased level of engagement enables organisers to become a trusted voice, opening up further revenuegenerating opportunities At Wattbike, we’ve partnered with a number of sportive organisers to do exactly this, providing event-specific training advice for participants. The Cyclosport Ride and Lunch was a great opportunity to catch up with familiar faces from the Industry. 2012 has been a really busy year and the chances of being able to spend 30 minutes chatting informally are few and far between.. Equally, it was great to meet some new faces too and we’re already looking at forming some new partnerships for 2013.
Managing Director and Co-Head of Corporate Finance at Ingenious Media, David Brooks with Sven Thiele, Dr Max Blumberg and Magnus Backstedt.
Endura Racing Manager Brian Smith being interviewed by Cyclosport Editor, Adam Tranter
it for both health and leisure benefits. In the great debate on road use – particularly in the UK - cyclists are generally assumed to be the guilty partner and motorists innocent. We expect radical swings in public opinion on issues like these as professional cycling bodies like Cyclosport raise awareness of cycling’s health, social and green benefits.” Dr Blumberg continues: “Cycling is gaining momentum as a mass participation sport. What happens in rapidly growing industries is that the more people take to it, the more benefits there are for all participants. Like email, the benefits were limited when it was used by only a few people. However, once most people, it became a must have for basic communication. The same will happen with cycling where as the activity achieves critical mass in society, any cyclists not aligned with major bodies will miss out on the networking, social and health benefits associated with being part of a growing cycling community.”
Ripe for investment
The room also gained insights into investments as David Brooks, Managing Director and co-head of Corporate Finance at Ingenious Media joined the event. He made it clear that sport was of growing importance and that bigger deals were now being done in the cycling sector across Europe. For anyone looking to buy or sell events there are three key insights he had: Aggregation is key to bigger deals, mass participation events are scalable across borders and niche targeting is important, e.g. women only events. A special thanks go to sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles and Wattbike and to everyone who attended and made the 2012 event a great one. We wish everyone a successful 2013 and look forward to seeing you all again next year.
former Cycling Manager for LOCOG (London Organising Committee for Olympic Games) Simon Lillistone was the Cycling Manager for LOCOG (London Organising Committee for Olympic Games) and held responsibility for the delivery of all cycling competitions in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the 4 crucial test events. During his time with LOCOG he was responsible for all aspects of cycling at the Games; course and venue selection and planning, stakeholder relationships, competition schedules, and all the sporting detail that goes into successful event delivery. His team at the Games, for all cycling disciplines, consisted of over 2,500 staff, contractors and volunteers He also managed the London 2012 relationship with the UCI from President, Directors and Technical Delegates to ensure all the Olympic and Paralympic events were planned to their satisfaction. Prior to his role with LOCOG he held a number of positions with British Cycling as well as 5 years in the sporting goods industry in International Sales and Marketing roles with Giro and Bell Sports. He also spent 10 years as an international cyclist competing in both the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Simon shares his thoughts on 2012, the cycling sector and what the future holds: “2012 was a momentous year for Cycling down to a combination of Team Sky’s further development, Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win and London 2012. It was an enormous privilege to lead the delivery of cycling at the Games and I am extremely proud of what we achieved in London. Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in the interest in cycling. It’s captured the nation’s imagination. The great thing about cycling is that this explosion in interest has culminated not only in support for the elite, but also in participation. People want to get on a bike, they fall in love with the sport and all the different doors it can open in their lives. The Perfect Storm has been brewing for a while and 2012 has delivered what we could have only imagined – colossal uptake of the sport. “There’s lots for cyclists to get involved in, but now we need to take it to the next level. We need to deliver experiences that live up to the positive image of the cycling events industry. To carry the momentum forward, we need to ensure all events are run professionally and to a high standard,
providing fun and safe experiences - bad events and negative experiences should not be allowed to happen. If we keep going in the right direction, cycling will be a significant and consistent part of our nation’s life. Cycling has worked its way ‘up the pecking order’ of sports in the UK, bike sales have been doing very well, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are still tens of millions of people that can and hopefully will buy a bike. When these people get on their bikes for their first cycling experience or event, we need to make sure we’ve catered for them to keep their passion alive. All abilities must be considered by the industry, from the beginner through to the elite. “The best thing about cycling is its accessibility. It doesn’t matter how much you have to spend, there’s a bike and an event out there for everyone. I feel proud to be part of such an exciting and successful industry.” So what’s next for the former LOCOG Cycling Manager? Simon has started a cycling consultancy, Fortitude Sports Consulting and will be continuing his lifelong involvement in cycling by providing the benefit of his experience to the cycling community. His first projects will be for the UCI Director of Sport who he has worked closely with for the past 3.5 years.
The Cyclosport Industry Ride & Lunch 2013 will take place on Thursday 10th October. If you’d like to be added to the guest list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Cyclosport.org is managed by HOTCHILLEE. 2006-2012 © Copyright Vista Global Holdings. All Rights Reserved.