Olympic Cyclist In Ride London

9 August 2014, 12:28 | Updated: 9 August 2014, 12:31

London's festival of cycling started this morning by setting a new world record.

Olympic and Commonwealth gold medal cyclist Laura Trott and former British downhill skier Chemmy Alcott led a cast of hundreds of cyclists as they beat the record for the largest bicycle bell ensemble.

Their performance in the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral kicked off a weekend of Prudential RideLondon cycling events in the capital.

It's starting with the opening of a 10-mile traffic-free route on closed roads through the city, allowing an expected 50,000 people to ride past iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.

A full 639 cyclists, led by bell-ringing musicians from the Guildhall School of Music, easily surpassed the total of 503 cycling bell-ringers set in 2003 by the University of Leipzig in Germany, in front of officials from the Guinness Book of Records.

Miss Trott, 22, who was racing later in the day in the grand prix event, said it had been worth getting up early for what is her second world record.

She said: "It was really exciting. I was part of the one they tried to do last year and it wasn't successful so it was really nice to see happy, smiley faces at the end of it.

"Our team pursuit team actually holds the world record for the team pursuit so this is my second one."

She added: "For me when I was growing up there was never really those opportunities - they would never shut down a whole city. For cycling to have come that far and be able to do that is incredible."

Miss Trott and Olympic and Tour de France star Sir Bradley Wiggins will take part tomorrow in a 100-mile road race which ends on the Mall.

Miss Trott said she was slightly daunted by riding 100 miles for the first time. She is taking part with her father, uncle and her sister, a former professional cyclist.