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RideLondon weekend 2019: Routes, riders, sportive and all you need to know

Cyclist magazine
1 Aug 2019

Key information about the 2019 RideLondon weekend: Route, riders, live TV guide & previous winners

Page 1 of 3RideLondon weekend 2019: Routes, riders, sportive and all you need to know

The Prudential RideLondon returns again this weekend for two packed days of cycling that includes mass participation sportives, closed-road riding around the capital and professional cycle races.

The Saturday day is arguably the most enjoyable part of the whole weekend when the centre of London is closed to motor vehicles and families are able to ride in peace in a way that is rarely afforded on a normal day on the traffic-choked and polluted roads.

The FreeCycle includes an eight-mile loop and several Festival Zones which all provides for a fantastic day out taking you past Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and Waterloo Bridge.

Further, the London Cycling Campaign runs led rides from all London Boroughs to take people to the closed circuit, making the event accessible for less confident riders.

Later in the afternoon, some of the world's best women cyclists take to the circuit for the Classique crit race.

To finish off the day, over 600 suit-clad men and women will take to The Mall to compete in the official Brompton World Championships to see who is crowned the quickest commuter of them all.

RideLondon-Surrey 100

The main events of the weekend take place on Sunday 3rd August. Kicking off at the eye-wateringly early time of 05:40, the Ride100 sportive starts in the Olympic Park and finishes on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

In between those tourist attractions the closed-road route heads out into the Surrey Hills, climbs Newlands Corner, Leith Hill and Box Hill and then makes its rapid return to the centre of London.

A sportive, not a race, plenty of people set a far faster time than they were expecting thanks to the drafting effect of the many other riders and the speedy nature of the course.

Unfortunately, there are also plenty of people who think they're so pro that they litter the countryside with their gel wrappers and ride dangerously and aggressivey. It's a real mix.

A recent addition to the timetable are the 46 and 19-mile options for the sportive, a good idea to expand the appeal of the event but these routes miss the best of the countryside and the key climbs.

The sportives are followed by the men's race, which from 2017 onwards is a WorldTour event.

RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2019: Key information

Date: Sunday 3rd August 2019
Start: Bushy Park, London (13:40)
Finish: The Mall, London (17:55-18:20 estimated)
Distance: 169km
Television coverage: Live coverage on BBC TV on Sunday 3rd August. Check TV listings for details

RideLondon-Surrey Classic men's race

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic takes place on Sunday 3rd August. Now building up to its eighth edition, it has become the UK’s premier one-day race.

First run in 2011 as a test event for the London 2012 Olympics road race the following year, the inaugural edition was won by Mark Cavendish.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to convert his success into Olympic gold, but British fans’ enthusiasm for the event has continued undimmed ever since.

After skipping a year for the Olympics in 2012, the race has since grown into a weekend-long festival of cycling, encompassing traffic-free events in London, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic pro race, and the massively popular 100-mile closed-road sportive.

RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2019: Route

A well-established route, with a couple of tweaks to keep things fresh. Setting off from Bushy Park as opposed to the usual set-up in Horse Guards Parade in central London, the peloton misses the cycling hotspot of Richmond Park for a first time.

Following much of the 2012 Olympic route, and passing through Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge and Ripley, the climb of Staple Lane is one of the first tests.

Into the green and rolling Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the abridged route avoid the climbs of Ranmore Common and Leith Hill for something new.

Unlike previous years, Box Hill will feature on five occasions as the peloton tackle a loop of the popular climb, softening the legs of the sprinters suitably. This area will also double-up as a free-to-attend fan zone, too.

With around 50 kilometres to regroup after the last major climb, the riders will pass through Leatherhead, Oxshott and Esher on their way back to the capital.

Heading into London riders will need to navigate a final climb at Wimbledon Hill before crossing north over Putney Bridge. Following the Thames into town the riders will dash through Parliament Square but not to Whitehall.

Instead they turn left onto Birdcage Walk, right onto Horse Guards Parade and then right as they head towards Buckingham Palace for the conclusive 500-metre sprint along The Mall.

RideLondon Classique women's race

The RideLondon Classique women's race will take place on Sunday 2nd August 2019. A criterium around Central London, the race slots into the weekend schedule between the FreeCycle earlier that day and the sportive the next morning.

The Women's WorldTour event tackles a 3.4km circuit from The Mall, up Constitution Hill before turning and heading back on to Birdcage Walk.

From here, it spins around as the route passes Horse Guards Parade then sharply left back on to the Mall.

In total, the women's peloton will complete 20 laps to cover a distance of 68km.

High-velocity racing that's exciting to watch, but not really on the level of a full road race as is afforded to the men the next day. Perhaps this will change in the coming years. 

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Page 1 of 3RideLondon weekend 2019: Routes, riders, sportive and all you need to know