By Nigel Wynn
Team Great Britain's cyclists were a big part of today's London parade celebrating the success of the country's Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Beijing.
A large procession consisting of athletes, team staff and organisers of London's 2012 Olympics started from Mansion House before going through St Paul's, Fleet Street and the Strand culminating in a presentation in front of crowds packed into Trafalgar Square.
Spectators gave a rousing welcome to triple gold-medallist and parade leader Chris Hoy. "I just want to say thank you to the British public for being so supportive," Hoy told the crowd. "This is an incredible reception. Thank you."
"This is my first parade that I have had since school," track sprint gold medallist Victoria Pendleton said at the event. "I remember when I was in the girl guides there was a special parade in our village and I was dressed as a Tour de France cyclist. That was really important at the time, but this is much more fun."
After this afternoon's presentation the athletes will go on to Buckingham Palace for a reception with the Queen.
Britain finished fourth on the overall medal table at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with 47 medals in total. A total of 14 of these came from the cycling disciplines, where Britain topped the tables in the road and track events. Nicole Cooke won Britain's first gold medal of the games by winning the women's road race, and Chris Hoy won an unprecedented three gold medals in the velodrome.
Britain's Paralympians placed second in the overall medal table, which included an amazing 42 gold medals. Cyclist Darren Kenny won four golds and one silver medal for Britain.
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