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RideLondon set to continue from 2022-31 but in new format, Transport for London papers reveal

Plans outlined for capital’s festival of cycling to switch to one-day format in the spring, with no men’s elite race and sportive routes not venturing into Surrey

RideLondon, the mass participation cycling event launched in 2013 as a legacy of the previous year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, is set to be relaunched for 2022-31 according to papers from Transport for London (TfL) – but it will take place over just one day annually, rather than a weekend, and will not venture into Surrey.

Proposals for the revised format of the event for the next decade are contained in a report forming part of Transport for London (TfL) agenda papers (at pages 107-112) prepared ahead of a meeting of its Finance Committee next Wednesday 10 March, highlighted on Twitter by user Always Last.

Held from 2013-19 over the weekend following the end of the Tour de France in late July or early August, it is planned that what is billed as the world’s biggest festival of cycling will now move to a spring slot and be held over a single day.

In previous editions, the sportive rides, including the Ride-London Surrey 100, took in the Surrey Hills, as did the men’s UCI race, the Ride-London Surrey Classic.

However, in late 2019, Surrey County Council launched a public consultation into whether it should continue to host the event from 2021-25, and confirmed in October it would be withdrawing its support.

> Surrey withdraws support for RideLondon in favour of “less disruptive events”

Prudential, which supported the race from its inaugural edition, had already announced that it was ending its sponsorship, while the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s planned event – a virtual edition to raise funds for charity was held instead – as well as a one-day version that had been due to take place this spring.

> RideLondon looking for new headline sponsor

Meanwhile, delivery partner London Marathon Events (LME) decided not to seek UCI authorisation for the men’s elite race, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic for this year.  

The TfL agenda papers for next week’s meeting, which is requested to approve LME to continue as delivery partner, confirm that the race has been dropped from the planned programme for 2022-31, due to it becoming “increasingly difficult to agree a date” with the UCI.

However, the UCI Women’s WorldTour race, the RideLondon Classique, held on a closed circuit, forms part of the expected new programme, as will the popular family ride, and mass participation challenge rides, with examples given being a “100-mile route for around 25,000 riders, a 45-mile route for around 5,000 participants and a 20-mile route for around 2,000 participants.”

The report prepared for the TfL Finance Committee also says that following Surrey County Council’s withdrawal, “we need to agree a new route with LME. This is a significant undertaking that will take approximately 18 months to plan and seek relevant stakeholder agreements. It was considered that this would be more achievable with a one-day event.”

It adds that the proposed new agreement with LME “does, however, allow both parties to propose and agree changes to the route and nature of the event in later years.”

Simon joined road.cc 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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16 comments

Avatar
EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
1 like

I'll be honest I was getting bored with that route - will be interesting to see which direction it goes next!

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Organon replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
1 like

Without the hills it might get boring quite soon on an alternative route. Though I might finally manage under 5h on the flat. Some of the climbs and descents are amazing with closed roads, found myself coasting up a hill at 55kph at one point.

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Rendel Harris replied to Organon | 2 years ago
2 likes
Organon wrote:

Without the hills it might get boring quite soon on an alternative route. Though I might finally manage under 5h on the flat. Some of the climbs and descents are amazing with closed roads, found myself coasting up a hill at 55kph at one point.

They should ask Kent and/or Sussex if they're interested in taking over from Surrey, some fabulous climbing to be had in the High Weald.

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Must be Mad | 2 years ago
1 like

Such a shame to see this stop - always wanted to take part, but never managed to get the entry selected

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Must be Mad | 2 years ago
3 likes

I finally got into the 100 on the third attempt through the lucky dip. For the one held in 2020....

 

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Surreyrider | 2 years ago
1 like

The headline for this story is somewhat misleading. Currently, there is no sponsor providing financial backing and there are no closed roads to ride on. 

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Jetmans Dad replied to Surreyrider | 2 years ago
1 like
Surreyrider wrote:

The headline for this story is somewhat misleading. Currently, there is no sponsor providing financial backing and there are no closed roads to ride on. 

Unless they have changed the headline, I genuinely have no idea what you mean. 

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Secret_squirrel replied to Jetmans Dad | 2 years ago
0 likes

Indeed.  Its pretty clear that the intent is to run the event again subject to a Sponsor and routes being agreed for the various actitvities, and there's 18 months of activity to get that set up.  

Now personally I think you could argue that some of the costs should be met by TFL or London, on the grounds of encouraging Londoner's health but I guess they are "donating" the roads and presumably other aspects of the organising too.

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Gkam84 | 2 years ago
1 like

I really hope they pull it off, but going forward, I don't think UCI should be handing out world tour status to kermesse or crits. They need to be proper road racing and a decent length to challenge riders. A little toddle around central London for 90 minutes is pretty pathetic for the highest level of the sport

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Secret_squirrel replied to Gkam84 | 2 years ago
1 like

Whilst I tend to agree its short (only the TT is shorter in the Womens Tour) I think you need to measure the "highest level of the sport" by more than distance.

Its a great chance to get both eyeballs and TV camera's on the Womens event relatively easily, and since it has one of the highest prize pots (if not the highest!) it leads by example in that respect.

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Awavey replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Well it was the highest prize pot,in part to match the mens race which is no longer happening,but without a sponsor where does the money come from anyway? TfL ?

It's a dull crit IMO,shouldn't be UCI status,it has nothing to do with the Olympic legacy, it doesnt showcase womens racing properly at all, it only exists as a tick box exercise to let politicians claim they are "doing something" because it's dead simple to shut a tiny part of Londons roads at the weekend.

Bring back the London Nocturne if you really want crit races to showcase some cycling as part of an event

Theres no ambition with it IMO, no thought to what kind of single day race you could put on,it only needed rolling road blocks not a closed course and yet we are supposed to applaud, cheer and be thankful for it. There isnt a mens equivalent crit race because the teams would simply just laugh at the idea.

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Gkam84 replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

My measure of the highest level would be those included in the womens world tour and a crit has no place there, no matter the coverage or prize pot.

If we are going to showcase racing, we should do it properly, a crit doesn't do that. In the same was La Course is a laughing stock when held round and round the Champs-Elysees. 

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Awavey replied to Gkam84 | 2 years ago
0 likes

the Madrid challenge also

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Jetmans Dad replied to Gkam84 | 2 years ago
2 likes

By the same token, is the marathon the only event that should be considered the highest level of running ... after all a little toddle in a straight line, on a track, for 10 seconds is pretty pathetic, right?

There is absolutely no reason that the world tour should be restricted only to lengthy, "challenging" road races to the exclusion of other forms of racing. 

In my opinion. 

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Brauchsel replied to Jetmans Dad | 2 years ago
0 likes

The marathon isn't the only highest-level running event, no. All the shorter ones are done on the track though. Just like cycling. 

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Gkam84 replied to Jetmans Dad | 2 years ago
1 like
Jetmans Dad wrote:

By the same token, is the marathon the only event that should be considered the highest level of running ... after all a little toddle in a straight line, on a track, for 10 seconds is pretty pathetic, right?

There is absolutely no reason that the world tour should be restricted only to lengthy, "challenging" road races to the exclusion of other forms of racing. 

In my opinion. 

I'm not sure I understand your logic here. Why would the marathon be the only highest level? and 100m disregarded? I'm not very much up on running, but there are a handful of elite marathons, right? London, Berlin, Boston...etc. Which are the highest level of marathon running. Same as things like the diamond league is the highest level of track events (All outside of world and Olympics)?

I've no problem with crits, but putting them at the top of the WWT isn't the place for them. Things like Bay Crits in Australia, Tour Series in the UK and the Crit Series in America are all examples of crits being good and at their own level.

Under your argument, there can't be more than one type of any sport at the highest level? An easy example to compare

MotoGP vs Isle of Man vs Dakar Rally (motorbikes)
Track vs Crit vs Road (point to point) 

All different types of motorbike racing, all at the highest level, but all very distinct and you can't compare them.

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