Last year, an amazing 16,000 cyclists took on the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 – and weekend an astonishing 24,000 riders will traverse the second event’s 100-mile closed-road sportive route.
More than 80,000 people entered the RideLondon ballot in an attempt to gain a place at this prestigious Olympic-legacy event and next Sunday (10 August), the lucky 24,000 selected will have the chance to ride a uniquely beautiful journey through a traffic-free London and out into the stunning Surrey countryside.
The RideLondon-Surrey 100 – which also aims to become the largest charity fundraising cycling event in the world – beings in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and weaves its way past Canary Wharf and through the City of London, then heads west along Piccadilly and Hammersmith.
Participants will cross the Thames in leafy Chiswick, then roll through Richmond Park and Kingston-upon-Thames before crossing Hampton Court Bridge, following the route of the London 2012 Olympic Games road race and time-trial.
Traffic-free rural landscapes await in Surrey
Out onto the lanes of spectacular Surrey countryside, there are plenty of picturesque sights to distract from tiring legs – but there’ll be no hiding on the infamous zig-zags of Box Hill, which climbs over 175m in altitude over 5km.
The route then continues north back through Kingston and over Putney Bridge, riders whirring past some of London’s most famous landmarks as they skirt the Thames on their way across Parliament Square, and up Whitehall, turning left at Trafalgar Square, under Admiralty Arch and onto the incredible finishing straight on the Mall.
Athletes can then cheer on 150 of the sport’s stars as the professionals take on the London-Surrey Classic along an almost identical course. The race will feature 10 Tour de France teams including Team Sky, Garmin-Sharp and Giant Shimano, as well as a selection of UCI Pro Continental and UCI Continental teams – including five British outfits – and Team GB’s under-23 squad.
Both of these events are part of the Prudential RideLondon cycling festival, which includes the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show at ExCeL (7 to 9 August), a women’s professional criterium race in St James’s Park – the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix – and the Prudential RideLondon Handcycle Classic, a 15-mile route showcasing some of the Paralympic sport’s best.
If talk of cycling around London without the worry of traffic on the roads has got you keen to take part, there’s also the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle event, a 10-mile route around the capital and its landmarks, which is free for all.
Find out more about all these events at the Prudential-RideLondon-website.