Mayor of London Boris Johnson, double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott and Leader of Surrey County Council David Hodge, today unveiled Prudential, Britain’s largest insurance group, as title sponsor of the Mayor’s RideLondon, a new two-day world-class cycling event that will form a key strand of the post 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy.
Prudential RideLondon will be the largest mass-participation cycling festival ever held in the UK, with over 70,000 cyclists, including some of the world’s top professionals, taking part across four separate events.
The exciting events will also help encourage people of all ages and abilities to take to two wheels. Children and families are encouraged to get involved via the FreeCycle event, an eight-mile mass-participation ride which is free to enter and open to everyone.
Prudential Group Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam and Surrey County Council leader David Hodge joined Boris Johnson and Laura Trott in unveiling the routes for the mass participation Prudential RideLondon–Surrey 100, and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic race for professional male cyclists. Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the routes pass many of London’s iconic landmarks, before passing through Richmond Park and out into the stunning Surrey Hills – including the testing climbs and undulating terrain of Box Hill and Leith Hill – and then returning to finish in the heart of the capital on The Mall in true Olympic style.
Commenting on today’s announcement, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Following the superhuman efforts of our Team GB cyclists last year, thoUSAnds of cycling enthusiasts, both experienced and amateur, riding a fantastic route through the streets of our fine city is surely a fitting legacy. I am delighted that six months on from Laura Trott’s breathtaking gold in the Omnium we are in a position to announce the routes and title sponsor. Prudential RideLondon is sure to become one of the world’s top cycling events, the countdown to the start of the event begins now!”
Prudential Group Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said: “The 2012 Games reaffirmed London’s leading position on the world stage. Today, following on this historic success for our capital city, Prudential is announcing a long-term partnership with RideLondon. I am confident that this exciting, annual event will become both a global showcase for London and a leading mass-participation sporting festival, promoting the values of healthy, active lifestyles for people of all ages throughout Britain.”
Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge said: “Both Box Hill and Big Ben will show off the very best of Britain when Surrey’s picture-perfect countryside contrasts with London’s famous cityscape during the 100-mile event. But entrants should put in some serious training as the hills in Surrey can prove tough if you’re not cycle-fit.”
Laura Trott, double Olympic gold medallist and Prudential RideLondon ambassador, said: “It’s exciting to think that in less than six months’ time Prudential RideLondon will have started and the streets of London and Surrey will be filled with over 70,000 cyclists taking part in the two-day festival. Prudential RideLondon has something for everyone and I hope it encourages more people to get on their bikes and start cycling.”
Transport for London Surface Planning Director Ben Plowden said: “This is an exciting time for cycling in the capital and Prudential RideLondon is anticipated to create another major boost, building on the legacy of the London 2012 Games. The two-day cycling festival will have something for spectators and cyclists of all ages and abilities, creating the largest annual mass-participation cycling event in the UK.”
Hugh Brasher, Board Director of event organisers the London and Surrey cycling Partnership, said: “The double announcement of Prudential as title sponsors of the weekend, plus the routes for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and Classic events, is a real milestone. The challenge for the successful entrants is to get to the start line fit and ready to cycle 100 miles within the nine hour cut-off. Our challenge is to ensure that we deliver a world-class event that inspires the next Laura Trott and delivers on its four-year goal to become the largest fundraising charity cycle ride in the world.”
The four events making up the two-day cycling festival are:
The Prudential RideLondon–Surrey 100 to be held on Sunday 4 August. Open to amateur and club riders, this 100-mile event attracted over 55,000 registrants who will find out from today if they have been successful in securing a place. Those that haven’t may still be able to take part through one of the many charities with guaranteed entries, or teams of four (men, women or mixed) from the same organisation can enter the Business Relay, where each team member will ride around 25 miles. Details of charity places and the Business Relay are on the Prudential RideLondon website at www.PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for elite men’s professional riders brings the drama of a classic one-day style of racing back to Britain for the first time in 16 years. To be held on Sunday 4 August, the 140 mile route includes all the highlights of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 route plus the testing challenge of three ascents of Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey and even steeper than Box Hill.
The Prudential RideLondon Freecycle to be held on Saturday 3 August. This eight-mile mass-participation ride is free to enter and open to cyclists of all ages and abilities. It aims to encourage anyone inspired by the London 2012 Games to take up cycling as part of an active and healthy lifestyle. Register now at www.PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk It’s free!
Highlights of the Prudential RideLondon festival and live coverage of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be shown on BBC TV. An international promotional campaign will attract hundreds of thoUSAnds of spectators, global TV audiences and substantial economic benefits. It will also provide a long term source of income for investment into improving conditions for cycling in London and into other cycling initiatives.
Today’s announcement comes six months to the day after Team GB track cyclist Laura Trott won her second London Olympic gold medal, in the Omnium.