British Cycling hopes to have the golden touch08 March 2010

Transportation of the UK's Olympic cycling hopefuls for the London 2012 games has been given a helping hand from Mercedes-Benz.

The manufacturer has supplied eight new vehicles to British Cycling, the cycling governing body in the UK, via London city dealer Enza.

This deal covers four long-bodied, high-roofed Sprinter 315CDI vans, two of them fitted with a second row of seats and side windows. This configuration has made loading cyclists and all of their equipment, including the all-important bikes, in safety and comfort.

The remaining four vehicles comprise three medium-bodied Sprinter 311CDIs and a smaller Vito 111CDI Long. This quartet has all been transformed into nine-seater minibuses.

"We considered vans from several manufacturers but quickly realised that the Mercedes-Benz package was superior to anything else available," comments Darren Gilmore , management accountant for British Cycling.

"The reputation for reliability of both the Sprinter and the Vito, coupled with their long service intervals and high residual values, translate into very competitive 'whole life' running costs."

Gilmore also highlights the dealer network and support it provides, before adding that all eight vehicles will most likely be traded in for new Sprinter models in early 2012, ready for operation during the Games themselves.

John Challen

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