Reblogged from Get Surrey 10.08.2012
THE cycling legacy left behind by London 2012 will be further built on during a weekend of competitive and public participation events in the capital and Surrey next August.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced the new annual RideLondon initiative, which will include elite riders, cycling enthusiasts and other members of the public tackling a variation of the Olympics road race route.
The RideLondon 100 and RideLondon Classic, scheduled for Sunday, August 4 next year, will both make their way into the Surrey Hills.
The events will feature some of the leg-testing climbs seen around the world last month when the likes of Lizzie Armitstead, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish raced through the county and around Box Hill.
The road races saw thousands of people lining the streets in Molesey, Walton, Weybridge, West Byfleet, Pyrford, Ripley, West Horsley, East Clandon, Shere, Gomshall, Abinger Hammer, Wotton, Westcott, Dorking, Leatherhead, Oxshott, Esher and Thames Ditton.
The RideLondon 100 is being billed as “cycling’s London Marathon”. Thousands of riders will be able to cycle along closed roads on a 100-mile modified version of the London 2012 route.
Its aim is to be “the largest charity fundraising cycle race in the world”. Organisers expect 20,000 amateur cyclists to take part, but it is already anticipated that the event will be over-subscribed and so a ballot will be held for places to be allocated. You can register here.
The public participation event will precede the RideLondon Classic, with around 160 elite riders from the world’s top teams following the same roads but with a route extension in Surrey.
The race will be broadcast live nationally and internationally, with a hope that local schools and communities will get involved in activities at the same time.
The two-day festival of cycling will also include the RideLondon Freecycle on Saturday, August 3 – an eight-mile, traffic-free loop through the capital, open to anyone and everyone – plus an invitation-only Grand Prix race on the Sunday in central London, featuring elite women’s and junior riders plus hand-cyclists.
In the future it is hoped the Junior Grand Prix will be extended to London and Surrey’s schools, with qualification races “to inspire future generations of cyclists”.
‘Take to two wheels’
Speaking at a launch event in London on Friday, Surrey County Council leader, Councillor David Hodge, said: “I am delighted we can work with the Mayor of London to give the nation’s new-found enthusiasm for cycling a lasting legacy.
“Having made such a success of the Olympic cycle races, we now have the springboard we need to find the next Bradley Wiggins or Lizzie Armitstead.”
Mr Johnson added: “Our challenge now is to ensure that 2012 is just the start, not the end of the benefits of hosting the Games.
“We need to capitalise on the incredible achievements of Team GB’s Olympic cyclists. I am sure that their superhuman efforts this summer will inspire thousands more, both young and old, to take to two wheels.”
“Over 48 hours there will be the opportunity for tens of thousands of cyclists to take part in what I believe will become one of the world’s number one cycling events.”
RideLondon events will be managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership – a union between The London Marathon Limited and SweetSpot Group Limited, the operators of the Tour of Britain cycle race.
The Mayor’s office, Transport for London, Surrey County Council and British Cycling are among the other organisations involved.