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Plans for the first official Boris bike race were announced today by Transport for London to tie in with the start of the Tour de France in the UK this summer.

The race will be held in the evening of Saturday June 7 round five laps of Smithfield market as part of the London Nocturne event. See a promotional film here:


Thirty riders will be allowed to race the hefty Canadian-built hire bikes round a specially created circuit. The bikes will include some of the yellow models painted in the Tour’s colour. Entry details will be posted on TfL’s Facebook page. The winner will receive a year’s free membership of the bike hire scheme.

Spectators are welcome along the course, which has a street festival feel with a cycling expo area, food stalls and live music. Boris Johnson said:

Exactly a month before the Tour de France rolls into our great city, the London Nocturne will kick-start another sensational summer of cycling in the capital. Londoners shouldn’t miss the chance to see Penny Farthings, folding bikes and even Barclays Cycle Hire bikes race around historic Smithfield Market. This free event has grown every year since 2007 and I’m sure the 2014 London Nocturne will be the best yet.

TfL’s General Manager for Barclays Cycle Hire, Nick Aldworth, said:

This is just one of a fantastic series of cycling events in London this summer which include the return of the Tour de France and Prudential RideLondon, together they will help to cement London’s reputation as a true cycling city and encourage more people to take to two wheels.

The London Nocturne will feature teams who will be racing the streets of London again a few weeks later in the Tour de France – Team Sky, Garmin-Sharp, Movistar and Net-App Endura.

The Tour de France arrives in London on Monday 7 July. After two stages in Yorkshire, around 200 elite cyclists will travel from Cambridge, through Essex, into London. The peloton will pass down Lea Bridge Road in Walthamstow and on to the Olympic Park  before a spectacular finish on The Mall.