Cycling popularity increases except in sports pages

Saturday’s The Times declares that “Inspirational Olympic heroes turn cycling into a family favourite” and celebrates a 40% increase in cycling as a result of the track team’s success.

Meanwhile The Sunday Times manages to lead its Sport In Brief section with Mark Cavendish taking Milan-San Remo at the first attempt and the first British rider to claim it since Tom Simpson in 1964. Some will say this is disgracefully little but, given past record, it feels like a minor triumph that it is mentioned at all.

Nobody, apart from Cycling Weekly seems to have seen fit to mention Emma Pooley solo-ing to victory in the GP Etrusca on Friday. Or Nicole Cooke coming 5th the next day.

So perhaps Cavendish should feel lucky to have been mentioned at all. Indeed he acknowledged as much in his interviews after the race when asked if it would push football off the back pages:

“No chance, it’s only the Olympics and Tour de France in the national news.”

Small steps but important ones if cycling is going to move into the mainstream. Participation builds expectation which can be developed into coverage with a little bit of application and perseverance.

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