Tour de France offers political opportunity

19 Jul 2007 by Karl Hallam

The Tour de France's incredibly successful visit to London seemed to go unnoticed by Gordon Brown's new Government, amazing considering it went spectacularly past his new front door at Number 10. The fact that over 2 million people enjoyed the race means that at least you can't blame the people who did the marketing and it was of course a triumph for Mayor Ken. Some of the British press initially seemed more interested in the fact that Ken can't ride a bike ... well that's one thing potential candidate Boris clearly beats him on ... but in the end the coverage was overwhelmingly positive and Cadence family and friends enjoyed a great day out in Hyde Park cheering on Wiggins and Millar.

Of course it's the Conservatives who have been most associated with cycling over the last year and David Cameron must have been comforted to see that even the best cyclists in the world also have a car following behind carrying the important stuff ... coincidentally Le Tour also says its years of dope are behind it too.

Cadence's work on sport policy with the IPPR has already lead to us suggest, in an article 'Sport up for Grabs', for Whitehall and Westminster World, that the Conservatives could try and annexe sport, as they did green issues in the first year of Cameron's leadership. This seems to have had the effect of making moving the environment up the political agenda, perhaps they could do the same for cycling?

Cadence's work on Sustrans' Safe Routes to School with the National School of Government is revealing that the Labour Government's commitment to cycling has always seemed a little half-hearted compared to the later years of the 1990s Conservative administration ... lets hope former pro-cycling Transport Minister Steve Norris has a word.




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