RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive ballot now open for entries

Riders can now enter the ballot for a place in the RideLondon 100 miles sportive, with entries to the 46 mile event set to open at a later date. The RideLondon weekend will take place from Friday to Sunday, July 28-30 2017

Riders in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 pass through Richmond Park. Photo by Jed Leicester for Prudential RideLondon

The ballot for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive is now open. The entry window will remain open until 17:00 on January 6, 2017, or when 80,000 riders have submitted their interest.

Those wanting to take part but looking for a shorter riding distance can enter the second year of the 46 mile sportive when a separate ballot opens on March 1 next year.

The 100 and 46 mile sportives will take place on Sunday July 30, 2017, at the end of a three-day festival of cycling.

Organisers are set to confirm the sportive routes nearer the time as they assess and review this year's events.

In previous years the maximum entry figure has been reached in advance of the cut-off date. That is expected to be the case again, meaning there will be more than three people going for every one of the 25,000 public places in the closed road sportive.

Those who miss out in the ballot can apply to one of the many charities involved with the RideLondon weekend or await any reallocation of spaces that occurs after people withdraw their interest.

In addition, riders can put themselves forward to be part of the 'Fixing Challenge'. This comes off the back of the 'Fixing Dad' documentary, which was made by the Whitington family as they helped their father lose weight and reverse his type-2 diabetes through cycling.

>>> Five invaluable tips to help you step up from riding 60 to 100 miles

The 100 mile sportive is the main event in a weekend festival of cycling. As of 2016 the events stretch over three days, with youth races and stunt shows in the Lee Valley VeloPark on the Friday evening.

Events on Saturday include the FreeCycle, where a loop of Central London is entirely closed to vehicles allowing families and others who might not usually cycle to get on two wheels and make the most of the capital.

The London Cycling Campaign also runs led rides from elsewhere in Greater London to transport less confident riders to the FreeCycle route.

>>> Why RideLondon has a recipe for success that other races should follow

Later on the Saturday evening is the Classique women's race, a criterium past some of London's most famous sites. It will be interesting - and very welcome - to see if the women's event is extended to a full road race for 2017, perhaps preceding the men's event on Sunday.

RideLondon's main events come on the Sunday of the three-day weekend, with the 100 and 46 mile sportives heading out of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and finishing on The Mall.

The men's race, which will be a WorldTour event from 2017, then races out into Surrey before also finishing on The Mall.

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online.