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.
To be held on 3-4 August 2013 the festival is expected to give a major boost to the number of active cyclists in the UK, while attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to London and Surrey.
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.”
London & Partners Head of Major Events Iain Edmondson said: “Prudential RideLondon will show off the best of the capital from the historic and traditional to the modern and quirky. Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park close to the Olympic Velodrome – the city’s newest world-class cycling venue, currently bidding to stage the 2016 World Track Cycling Championships – Prudential RideLondon strengthens London’s commitment to build a legacy of international sport following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
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:
Prudential RideLondon Freecycle – Saturday 3 August
Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix – Saturday 3 August
Prudential RideLondon–Surrey 100 – Sunday 4 August
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic – Sunday 4 August
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.
The 2012 Olympic Road Race proved a fantastic success and put the spotlight on the Surrey Hills countryside. Natural England, the National Trust and LOCOG worked together to ensure that the biodiversity objectives for the Games were met for the cycling road races, especially at Box Hill. The result was a demonstration of how to make space for spectators to witness a sporting spectacle in an iconic location and benefit wildlife in the process. This micro report summarises the lessons learned from the three events held at the venue and is designed to inform plans for future major sporting events. To download the report click here.