By Tom Degun

66545ed48e3f086cad156907c8ffaf52December 24 - Over 20 cycling organisations across Britain have joined forces to launch a "Summer of Cycling for 2012" in order to capitalise on the fact that the sport will be in the spotlight during next year's Olympic Games.

The initiative was first discussed in a meeting at the House of Commons last month where it was hosted by the cross-party All Parliamentary Cycling Group to encourage a campaign to promote cycling during Olympic year.

Getting behind the initiative are a wide range of businesses and organisations including British Cycling, Halfords, the London Cycling Campaign, Cycling Scotland, the Bicycle Association, Bike Week, Transport for London, the Tour of Britain and the Cycle to Work Alliance.

It is still being decided exactly what shape the initiative will take but it is likely that the Summer of Cycling for 2012 will be an umbrella under which a series of cycling events and initiatives can be grouped together.

"There needs to be a better cross over between all the cycling groups," said the MP for Cambridge and co-chair of the All Parliamentary Cycling Group, Dr Julian Huppert.

"We need to bring all the interests together.

"In 2012, we need cycling to say the same thing at the same time.

"Events could be linked together to flow from one event to another."

Cycling was by far Britain's most successful sport at the Beijing Olympics as the team claimed an astonishing total of 14 medals, eight of which were gold.

Sir Chris Hoy, who claimed three gold medals in China, is again expected to reach the top of the podium at London 2012 as is Bradley Wiggins, who won two golds.

Meanwhile Mark Cavendish (pictured below) could well take Britain's first medal at London 2012 in the men's road race which takes place on the first full day of competition at the Olympics.

Mark Cavendish_crosses_the_line_down_the_Mall_August_14_2011
The 26-year-old Manx sprint star has had a stunning year which saw him become world champion in the road race and take the prestigious green jersey in the Tour de France and was rewarded on Thursday (December 22) when he was crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Phillip Darnton, the former chairman of Cycling England and now vice-president of the Bicycle Association, said it was vital for cycling to capitalise on the Olympics or it would miss a great opportunity.

"2012 ought to be the year we sell more bikes than ever before," he said.

"It ought to be the year more kids get cycle trained than ever before.

"More children should be cycling to school than ever before and after the Olympics, more people than ever before should be lining the roads to watch the Tour of Britain."

The Summer of Cycling for 2012 initiative is aimed to be as inclusive as possible and isn't restricted to the 23 organisations and businesses that have launched it.

Anyone involved in cycling at whatever level, ranging from national bodies right down to individuals, is encouraged to take part.

More details are set to be revealed on the project next year.

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