World's biggest cycling festival to bring Olympic joy back to London
Updated 4:38pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
The world's largest cycling festival featuring Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins will be passing through Wandsworth and Merton this summer, Boris Johnson announced today.
More than 500,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of London and Surrey on August 3 and 4 in a repeat of the patriotic and jubilant scenes of last year's Olympic Games.
More than 20,000 amateur cyclists, including The Mayor of London himself, will pedal their way through the gruelling 100-mile course in the main event - The RideLondon-Surrey 100 Speaking earlier today from the finish line in The Mall, Mr Johnson threw down the gauntlet to applicants and spectators.
He said: "It’s going to be a fantastic feast of velocipedes, the equivalent of running the marathon, only better.
"I have been conscripted for the 100-mile ride and I will perform."
Four events will make up the two-day cycling festival attracting over 70,000 cyclists, including some of the world’s top professionals including Sir Bradley and Mark Cavendish.
Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the routes pass many of London’s iconic landmarks, before heading through Richmond Park.
Participants will then head out into Surrey where the testing climbs and undulating terrains of Box Hill and Leith Hill await.
Having conquered those twin peaks, the cyclists will head back through Raynes Park, along Worple Road, up Wimbledon Hill and through Wimbledon Village.
The race will then pass along Parkside before turning on to Tibbet's Corner, down Putney Hill and over Putney Bridge.
Finally the peloton will head toward the finish on The Mall in true Olympic style.
Double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott, attending the launch with The Mayor, said: "It’s exciting to think that in less than six months’ time, RideLondon will have started and the streets of London and Surrey will be filled with over 70,000 cyclists taking part in the two-day festival.
"RideLondon has something for everyone and I hope it encourages more people to get on their bikes and start cycling."
The action will begin on Saturday, August 3, with the RideLondon Grand Prix which will feature the world’s best women, junior and hand cyclists in action on a circuit in and around St James’s Park.
This will be followed by the RideLondon Freecycle an eight-mile "mass-participation ride" which will be free to enter and open to cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Sunday will open with the RideLondon-Surrey 100, open to amateur and club riders who will assemble at 6am at Stratford’s Olympic Park, before heading out of the city.
The festival will close with the 140-mile RideLondon-Surrey Classic, an elite race for men’s professional riders, including Sir Bradley and Cavendish, bringing the drama of a classic one-day style of racing back to Britain for the first time in 16 years.
More than 55,000 RideLondon-Surrey 100 registrants will find out from today if they have been successful in securing a place.
Unsuccessful applicants could still be able to take part through one of the many charities with guaranteed entries.
Teams of four (men, women or mixed) from the same organisation can enter the Business Relay, where each team member will ride around 25 miles.
For more information about each event visit www.PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk
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