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See Martin Johnson train with Vélo Birmingham cyclists for Business 100 Challenge

Vélo Birmingham is sold out but you can still enter the 100 mile sportive Business Challenge - see how here

Vélo Birmingham cyclists taking part in the Business 100 Challenge have been put through their training paces with England rugby legend and keen cyclist Martin Johnson CBE.

More than 150 cyclists from around 60 companies – including the Birmingham office of global accountancy practice Grant Thornton , clinicians from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, award-winning cycle manufacturers Ribble and engineering experts Jacobs – joined Johnson for a 29 mile practice run on Saturday (May 20).

The event in Warwickshire was sponsored by Purity Brewery, near Alcester, which brews Saddle Black – a beer created to celebrate the brewery location being discovered during a bike ride.

Rugby World Cup-winning captain Johnson, originally from Solihull and ride ambassador for Vélo Birmingham, said: “The training ride was great. We’ve got some beautiful countryside here in the Midlands and it was great to be out and about.

“Vélo Birmingham is going to be a great challenge, but it’s definitely do-able. It’s something you can look back on and think ‘wow, I’ve done 100 miles’.

“I got into cycling through a mate when I was playing rugby and I always enjoy getting out in the country. Wherever you live, in whatever city, you’re never too far away from great countryside.

“I knew Vélo Birmingham would sell out quickly, but it’s great that people can still get involved through charities or the Business 100 challenge.

“With closed roads across 100 miles, this is going to be a great event. It’s a great opportunity and it should be a cracking day.”

How you can still enter Vélo Birmingham

The inaugural Vélo Birmingham sold out inside four days after it was launched last September.

More than 15,000 cyclists will be heading off on the 100 mile closed road route from Broad Street in Birmingham city centre on Sunday, September 24.

A small number of individual places are still available through the event’s lead charity partners.

Companies can also enter teams through the Business 100 challenge, which offers a VIP experience coupled with exclusive training events and networking opportunities – but places are limited.

Supported by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, The Birmingham Post and DLA Piper, Business 100 offers a dedicated starting wave and in-ride competitions.

Well over £1 million is expected to be raised for charity by Vélo Birmingham entrants and it is hoped the Business 100 will raise over £100,000 for good causes across the Midlands.

For further information about the Vélo Birmingham Business 100 Challenge and to enter click on here

All about Vélo Birmingham

Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Coun Ian Ward with Jon Ridgeon, from CSM Active and Rugby Legend Martin Johnson for the launch of Velo Birmingham
Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Coun Ian Ward with Jon Ridgeon, from CSM Active and Rugby Legend Martin Johnson for the launch of Velo Birmingham

Organised by CSM Active, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Vélo Birmingham starts and finishes on Birmingham city centre’s Broad Street before taking riders on an unforgettable journey on closed roads through Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Sandwell and Dudley.

Vélo Birmingham is the flagship event of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution – a Birmingham City Council initiative aiming to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years.

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