The popular RideLondon sportive will continue for another 10 years, as the organiser has announced the event will follow a new route from next year.
London Marathon Events Limited, organiser of the London Marathon, has signed a 10-year partnership to run the mass participation event, which will now move to the spring Transport for London has announced.
While the fate of the closed road London sportive has been uncertain due to contract negotiations and the coronavirus pandemic, the new partnership means the event will continue until 2031.
The new route for RideLondon has not yet been announced, but it is not likely to follow its traditional route through Surrey, to the iconic Box Hill, as Surrey Country Council has previously announced it will withdraw its support for the event after complaints from residents.
Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, said: “RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling and London Marathon Events is committed to developing it further every year and inspiring more people to cycle more often. Globally, it is one of the biggest charity one day cycling events and we aim to engage more than 100,000 people on an extraordinary day when London celebrates cycling.”
In January last year, Surrey County Council began considering whether to allow RideLondon to continue beyond 2020 as the contract to hold the popular event came to an end.
The RideLondon festival had been held every year since 2013 as part of the legacy of the 2012 London Olympics, and featured mass-participation events, a women’s pro race and a men’s WorldTour race.
But the agreement to run the event through London and Surrey came to an end in 2020, with Surrey County Council considering whether to continue the event from 2021 through to 2025.
In October last year, the council said the event had no future in Surrey, after backlash from residents about the disruption to traffic and businesses caused by the road closures.
The 2020 event was eventually cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic with a virtual event held in its place, raising £3 million for charity, while the 2021 festival has also been scrapped due to Covid-19.
But in the latest announcement from Transport for London, London Marathon Events will continue to run the event from 2022 to 2031.
The women’s RideLondon Classique event will continue under the new contract, but there has been no mention of the men’s race, the only British WorldTour race on the calendar.
The fate of the men’s race has been unclear since July 2020 when the organisers announced that the RideLondon-Surrey Classic would not take place in 2021, regardless of the pandemic situation.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner said: “RideLondon is one of the highlights of the year, so I’m really pleased that we have secured this 10 year partnership.
“Like many Londoners, I have really missed the real-life event so I’m delighted that the new, more family-focused format, along with the RideLondon Classique women’s professional race, will help RideLondon bounce back with a bang next year.”
In 2022, the festival will be moved from its regular spot in August and instead will be held over a single day in the spring, with an exact date yet to be decided.
The organisers say the spring dates will allow more families to take part and will encourage people to continue cycling into the summer months.
TfL are expecting “tens of thousands of visitors across London and the UK” which will help shops, bars and restaurant.