Over the course of the weekend, the British capital plays host to an impressive selection of cycle-themed attractions – with pro racing, a family friendly ‘FreeCycle’ and of course the famous mass-participation sportives.
Over 100,000 cyclists are expected to take part in the sixth edition over the course of August 3-4 2019.
The festival was developed by the Mayor of London, London & Partners and Transport for London in partnership with Surrey County Council, it’s managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership (LSCP) and sponsored by Prudential.
The 2018 event raised well over £12 million for charity. The organisers pass all profits on to the London Marathon Charitable Trust, a registered charity striving to put money into capital projects that inspire more people to lead active lifestyles.
RideLondon 2019 schedule of events
The Cycling Show: Thursday August 1 to Saturday August 3
Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle: Saturday August 3
Prudential RideLondon Classique: Saturday August 3
Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix: Saturday August 3
Brompton World Championships: Saturday August 3
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, 46 and 19: Sunday August 4
Prudential RideLondon Classic: Sunday August 4
Planning on visiting the city for the event, but not sure what to do or watch? Here’s a look at each event in detail:
Prudential RideLondon Classique
With a prize pot of €100,000, the RideLondon Classique is one of the most lucrative one-day races in women’s cycling. Its status as a UCI Women’s WorldTour race also lends to its prestige.
The race kicks off on Saturday August 3, and riders will race over a 5.5km circuit in the city centre. The loop begins on The Mall, in St James’ Park, travels up Constitution Hill and turns at the top onto Birdcage Walk.
The riders will pass Big Ben, then turn left to Whitehall and then onto the Strand, through Trafalgar Square and Admirality Arch before returning to The Mall.
Tom Boonen won the 2016 RideLondon-Surrey Classic. Photo by Graham Watson.
Attracting professional riders from around the world, the men’s RideLondon Classic sees the peloton race over a 200km route out of London, into Surrey and back to The Mall.
This year’s event will take place on Sunday August 4. Crowds can gather at the start on Horse Guards Parade, at the Mall or anywhere along the route – and the race will be televised live on a screen at Green Park.
Riders in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 pass through Richmond Park. Photo by Jed Leicester for Prudential RideLondon
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 is probably the most popular sportive in the country. Around 25,000 cyclists took on the 100 mile route in 2018, whilst over 5,000 completed the shorter distance of 46 miles.
Entry is awarded via a ballot, so by now riders who have a place in the closed-road event will be well aware (and hopefully will be training!).
Should riders struggle with the inclines at any point, there are diversions that can cut out the three ramps.
Once the climbs are covered off, it’s a fast-paced blast back to the city via Leatherhead, Esher and Wimbledon, and finishing on The Mall.
The 46-mile route starts and finishes in the same place, looping through Richmond Park, over the river and bakc through Wimbledon and Putney.
There are drinks stations along the route as well as four ‘hubs’ with nutrition products and toilets on the long route, and two hubs on the short route.
The 19-mile route starts in Sandown Park (Surrey) and then joins in with the final 19 miles of the 100 route.
Click on the following distances to download full PDF route maps for the 100, 46 and 19-mile rides.
The Cycling Show
Like RideLondon’s Cycling Show, the London Bike Show also takes place at the Excel Centre
A big trade show, open to the public.
Taking place at ExCeL London, The Cycling Show will be a showcase of some of the most interesting brands and people in cycling. Exhibitors will set up their stands, showing off their newest products, and the ‘Centre Stage’ arena will host speakers throughout the festival.
The easiest way to get to ExCeL London is to take the DLR to Prince Regent station (Custom House will be closed until December).
RideLondon Grand Prix
The Grand Prix takes place at Lee Valley VeloPark as part of RideLondon
This represents a selection of handcycle, junior and BMX racing, and there’s also a Festival Zone with a selection of family friendly activities.
The key races are:
Prudential RideLondon Handcycle Grand Prix for injured veteran servicemen and women
Prudential RideLondon Elite Handcycle Grand Prix for top international handcyclists
Prudential RideLondon Youth Grand Prix for children under 14 and under 16
Prudential RideLondon BMX Grand Prix for children under-8, 9-10 years, 11-12 years, 13-14 years and 15-16 years
Here are the highlights from the 2017 edition:
An event for all the family – the FreeCycle offers riders the chance to enjoy riding on traffic-free roads in central London, with an eight-mile route that covers the Strand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields before returning to the Victoria Embankment. The event attracts around 70,000 riders.
Along the way riders will pass Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England. It will also take in the newly-opened East-West Cycle Superhighway.
There will be festival zones set up at Southbank, Guildhall Yard, Leadenhall Market, St Paul’s Churchyard, Aldwych, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Green Park – here there will be music, entertainment, as well as drinks and bike doctors ready to help with any temperamental two-wheelers.
Brompton World Championships
The Brompton World Champs are part of RideLondon
The unique Brompton World Championships sees 550 riders run to their bikes, and unfold them, before bursting into a criterium style bunch race.
The course covers eight laps of St James’ Park, past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall, totalling 16km (just under 10 miles).
The race takes place on Saturday August 3. Lycra is not permitted, and many competitors will dress up in their finest suit jackets for the occasion.
RideLondon road closures
With a high number of closed road events listed above, it’s understandable that there will be some traffic disruption.
Some road in central London will be closed on Saturday August 3. More widespread road closures take place on Sunday August 4, from London into Surrey. Details and maps of the road closures can be found on the official event website.
From around 11am on Sunday August 3, when all riders in the mass-participation event have passed over Hampton Court Bridge, roads along the route will be opened.