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HotChillee's The London-Paris 2012 Officially Kicks Off

by Holly Blades

The official launch of HotChillee's The London-Paris took place on 22nd March at the exclusive Commonwealth Club in London. The evening was hosted by HotChillee's ambassador and cycling legend, Stephen Roche, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his Triple Crown win.

He was joined by one of the key voices in cycling, Eurosport commentator David Harmon, who has cycled The London-Paris on a both a fixed wheel and tandem bike. 

Stephen Roche, David Harmon and Sven Thiele hosted the evening

The evening provided riders of The 2012 London-Paris the chance to meet each other, the HotChillee team, Ride Captains and to spend the evening with some of cycling's luminaries and legends. The bike Stephen Roche won the 1987 Tour de France on has also been re-built and was on display in all its glory.

Guests were also treated to the incredible footage of Roche's La Plagna battle with Pedro Delgado, which effectively secured his 1987 Tour de France win. Stephen will be riding his Battaglin bike into Paris on the last day of The London-Paris this year to celebrate the anniversary of his Triple Crown. 

Happy riders, Grant Dorwood (left) and Stewart Highett (right)  with their new Training Jerseys, courtesy of Adobe. 

All sponsors and partners were officially introduced, with the announcement of two new partners. Adobe is now the official Training Jersey partner and training jerseys were presented to all riders. Garmin has also joined The London-Paris team as a Ride Captain Sponsor, supplying all Ride Captains with the latest Garmin Edge 800, complete with European street mapping and heart rate monitors.

Alongside Adobe, Top Tier partners are Retail Partner Chain Reaction Cycles, Clothing Partner LeMarq, Insurance Partner Cyclosure, Logistics Partner DHL, Vehicle Partner Skoda, Lunch partner and sponsor of Leaders' Jerseys Chazal, Bike Partner Vitus and Training Partner Wattbike, who provided a Wattbike for all The London-Paris riders to try out on the evening. 

HotChillee's four Charity Partners were also present and welcomed onto the stage to say a few words. These include, Leukaemia Lymphoma Research in partnership with Geoff Thomas, UK Youth, The Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust and DEBRA.  

HotChillee founder, Sven Thiele sees how tough Hand Cycling is.

The Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust has a team of four Hand Cyclists taking part in this year's London-Paris and a hand cycle was set up on a turbo trainer for people to get an insight into what the team has ahead of them. 

The HotChillee London-Paris also has a strong team presence. The team concept has grown year-on-year and 2012 sees 35 teams of four participating from around the globe. All teams from the sports, business and media industries will be announced soon.

All official HotChillee Ride Captain Sponsors were announced including Chain Reaction Cycles, Mavic, On, LeMarq, adidas Eyewear, Wattbike, Cyclosure, Garmin and Vitus. 

The official partners for 2012 were also announced, which include Mavic, SiS, Regus, MapMyTracks, Eurosport, The TriTouch, Stephen Roche Training Camps and 76 Harley Street. The official suppliers for 2012 are Moet & Chandon, Sportique and Haribo. 

Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee says: "It was a great evening had by all. Nine years' ago we started The London-Paris as 13 riders. It's grown year on year to become a hugely successful and incredibly fun, safe and professional event. Without our committed riders, sponsors and partners none of this would be possible and it was great to get everyone in the same room to celebrate what is set to be another smashing year for The London-Paris. Unlike other sports, celebrities, ex-professional cyclists and regular riders are able to cycle in the same peloton and share lunch and gels. We are so privileged to have some of the best riders of the last 30 years join us." 

Stephen Roche with his restored 1987 Tour de France winning bike

Cycling legend, Stephen Roche, commented: "It was a blast to see so many enthusiastic riders and I can't wait to get out on the road with them all. HotChillee's events are always fantastic and cycling into Paris in previous years has brought back all my memories of that winning day in 1987. Riding up the Champs-Élysées on my restored Battaglin bike will certainly be an emotional end to this year's The London-Paris and I can't wait to relive it."

Further event information can be found at