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RideLondon-Essex sportive date reportedly confirmed for 2023

Event set to return to Essex roads next spring following its debut on them in May this year

Next year’s RideLondon-Essex sportive will take place on Sunday 28 May 2023, according to local newspaper reports.

The hugely popular event returned this year following a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, switching from its previous late July/early August slot to late May.

A new slimmed-down format saw events in London, including the family-friendly FreeCycle ride on closed roads in the heart of the capital, confined to the Sunday rather than spanning an entire weekend.

Essex meanwhile took over from Surrey County Council as partner with RideLondon London Marathon Events (LME), hosting much of the route of the sportive, with 30-, 60- and 100-mile roue options, attracting more than 22,000 riders.

The county also hosted the second and third stage of the Women’s WorldTour race, the RideLondon Classique.

Previously, that had been a one-day circuit race held in central London on the Saturday evening, but it expanded this year to three days, with the opening stage held in the capital on the Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile the men’s elite race, last held in 2019 under the name the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on a course largely mirroring that of the sportive and won that year by Elia Viviani, was dropped from the programme.

In a statement quoted on local news outlets including the Thurrock Gazette, Essex County Council said: “The event will contribute to Essex County Council climate change priorities looking to encourage Essex residents to be more aware of the benefits of being physical activity by cycling which in turn would increase awareness of active travel and support reducing the number of short journeys made by car and reduce emissions.”

Referring to the format that existed from its inception in 2013 as a legacy from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the council continued: “RideLondon is traditionally a three-day cycling event that includes two elite cycle races and a mass participation event for members of the public.

“This partnership with LME will allow Essex to be the host county for the mass participation event in 2023, which will help support and inspire people in Essex taking up cycling as part of a healthy, active and environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

“It will also showcase Essex as an attractive county that is open for visitors and for the staging of big events.

“Bringing this event to Essex will also help boost fundraising for local charities that play an important role in supporting our communities.”

According to the Thurrock Gazette, the route for next year’s sportive is yet to be finalised.

Surrey County Council decided to end its partnership with RideLondon following a consultation with local residents in 2020, saying it would instead focus on smaller-scale events, with Essex County Council was confirmed as the new event partner in November last year.

> RideLondon returns next May, but no Box Hill as sportive heads into Essex 

In May 2021, Transport for London confirmed that it had reached agreement with LME for the event to continue from 2022-31, albeit in the new format that sees it take over the capital’s streets for just one day.

> RideLondon confirmed for 2022-31 – but switches to the Spring

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Global Nomad | 1 year ago
1 like

Rode it this year and while good to have it back the route was largely uninspiring and large parts felt like barren hinterland rather than the best bits of Essex. The flat course also meant that the only challenge most experienced riders had was speed. The event was good and well run but missed some of the thoughtful route planning of the previous version.

IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
0 likes reports that the race has reportedly been confirmed.

Surreyrider replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

And also says Surrey CC ditched it after a consultation with residents...that actually showed nearly two-thirds of respondents wanted it to continue in the county. 

muhasib replied to Surreyrider | 1 year ago

The results of the consultation were not that strongly in favour. A previous article reported the following:

"The data included in the cabinet paper says that 53% of respondents who were Surrey residents 'strongly agree' or 'tend to agree' that the benefits of the event "outweigh the impact and disruption". Just 31% strongly disagreed that the event's benefits outweighed the disruption, and among non-Surrey residents surveyed, 54% strongly agreed and 35% strongly disagreed. "

SCC were bound to give more attention to their own residents' responses than the total number of respondents overall in the consultation.

Simon_MacMichael replied to muhasib | 1 year ago
1 like

Indeed. The consultation response wouldn't have been the only factor taken into account by SCC (finance etc would also have been a factor), but it's highly likely the views of local residents would have outweighed those of people from outside the area (and we've seen similar at times on issues such as LTNs). Of course, consultations reflect opinion and are not a referendum, but having hosted the event for seven years (and before that, the Olympics and the test event) the council clearly decided it was time to reassess its priorities.

Simon_MacMichael replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

Fair sumary. Given the popularity of the event and absence to date of official communication, we thought it might be useful to flag up the date to those of you who don't avidly read the Thurrock Gazette or other Essex local press  3

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