Solihull's Martin Johnson takes enjoys training ride ahead of Vélo Birmingham - The Solihull Observer

Solihull's Martin Johnson takes enjoys training ride ahead of Vélo Birmingham

Solihull Editorial 26th May, 2017   0

ENGLAND rugby legend and keen cyclist Martin Johnson CBE led over 150 Vélo Birmingham participants on a 29-mile Saturday morning cycle through Warwickshire countryside.

The Solihull-born World Cup-winning captain and ride ambassador for Vélo Birmingham joined cyclists from the 60-plus companies that have entered the Business 100 challenge on the training ride on Saturday, May 20.

The inaugural Vélo Birmingham is a 100-mile closed road sportive taking place on Sunday, September 24. The 15,000-capacity event sold out inside four days last September.

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.

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.

Speaking after the ride Martin 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,” he added.

The Business 100 event was hosted by the award-winning Purity Brewery near Alcester, which brews Saddle Black; a beer created to celebrate the brewery location being discovered during a bike ride.

Companies taking part in the Warwickshire training ride included the Birmingham office of global accountancy practice Grant Thornton, clinicians from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, award-winning cycle manufacturers Ribble and engineering experts Jacobs.

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.

For further information about the Vélo Birmingham Business 100 challenge visit

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