Over 1500 riders took part in the inaugural ‘Ride with Brad’ Sportive on Sunday in aid of the Bradley Wiggins Foundation.

The 60 and 100 mile routes covered some of the challenging terrain over Lancashire’s toughest climbs used by Wiggins in training.

Setting off an hour after the first riders on the 100 mile ride, Wiggins passed the majority of riders en-route offering words of encouragement as he rode by.

The roadside support could not be dampened by the drizzle and heavier rain which fell later in the afternoon. Tour De France style roadside family gatherings, bunting and flags welcomed the riders through some of Lancashire’s sleepiest villages, surely a first for a UK sportive.

With the ride seemingly a continuation of the Tour de France and Olympic ‘feel good’ wave, many returned to the Barnoldswick headquarters elated with the roadside support and of course the chance to ride, however briefly, with the cycling superstar.

At the post ride press conference Wiggins still seemed shell shocked by the public response.

“It was fantastic … it was more specific today because it was about cycling,” he said.

The Bradley Wiggins Foundation started in May 2012 as a way for Wiggins to put something back into sport at a grass roots level.

“My mum got into a lot of debt funding me as a kid you know, trying to buy me the best stuff as I got better and going to track championships and stuff. So [it’s great] if we can help parents along the way, supplying track bikes or a local club with helmets or rugby balls, whatever it is.

“Obviously [the concept’s] very broad at the moment. It was started as something very close to me but if we can make it bigger with my success then that’s great.”

On the ride itself Wiggins commented “the goal is to make this an annual thing and let it grow and evolve and, who knows, in ten years time there could be tens of thousands riding around there.

“I’m sure there are people still out there (on the route) now. If anything I would like to see it a bit easier because it was quite hard today! It took me six hours, so God knows what it is going to take some of the people out there.

“But it was brilliant just to see so many people out. Even at the end, people were not giving up and walking up some of the last climbs to get to the finish.

“We want to make it a firm fixture in the calendar really, it’s certainly something that I want to stick with and help it grow”.

Certainly given the size of the crowds in Victory Park in Barnoldswick welcoming Wiggins back after the ride and the success of Cycle Sport Pendle’s Go Ride sessions for kids during the day, the event laid a solid foundation for continued success in the future.

  • Lynne

    August 19th – Congratulations to Brad and Team – What a Day !

    It was tough, the climbs were brutal and relentless (or so it seemed at the time) but I did it! A glimpse into a training day for Wiggo – ace. The KoM added a great twist. The cramp has gone but the smile hasn’t left my face!

    The marshalls and backup teams were brillant and the cheering crowds all around the route made it extra special. Thank you to everyone who gave up their time – it is really appreciated.

    Its a shame the rain couldn’t stay away but everyone in Victory Park enjoyed themselves anyway!

    I’m sure this event will grow into one of the ‘Must Do Events on the cycling calendar. I’m coming back next year to do the longer route!

    Nice one Brad! What a year 2012 has been for you and British Cycling in general. Long may it continue.

  • Alex

    My boyfriend took part in the cycle on sunday and rode with wiggins over the trough. There were a lot of photographers there but unfortunately not the official ones. We are desperately seeking any pics from around this area, any suggestions would be brilliant!! Thanks!

  • Gray

    I bet he didn`t ride Jubilee from Quernmore crossroads…that`s for REAL hard men!;)
    It`s fantastic that Brad seems to have kept his feet on the ground and is still appears one of the people and not some God-like figure who you only ever see on your TV screen.
    I know Brad is a big fan of the late, great Tom Simpson and Simpson had big plans for British cycling on his retirement.Sadly,as we all know he never got there. It seems like Brad has taken up the mantle. Good on yer lad….

  • consulted1@gmail.com

    I went out to watch Wiggins just outside Lancaster on Jubilee Tower Hill . He rode it effortlessly, simply riding past mere mortals like me!

    Great to see somebody caring about the sport and ordinary people enough to put something back into it. I like the way he comes across in the media too, edgy enough to change perceptions on cycling for the non cycling public and not just another coached, plastic sportsmen. Nice work Wiggo! I think I’m off now to buy a bike.

  • stuj

    Yes, well and good, I read in the newspaper that there was a fatality in a TT on Saturday, May have been in the Team Swift ‘100’ near Thirsk. Don’t you cover news of this tragic character anymore?

  • Simon Pugh

    The Ride with Brad was definitely something special yesterday. Right up there with the Dragon Ride Gran Fondo in terms of difficulty, scenery and organisation but in a whole different league with Brad’s support, signing clothing and ride numbers (mine’s on the wall already!); what’s more, no-where I’ve ridden before in the UK has there been such cheery support from locals clapping every rider. And getting to 56 mph descending Waddington Fell smashed my PB as yet another great memory to help me forget the cramp and incessant hills right through to the finish!