Alex Dowsett will return to his home county as Assistant Race Director of the Ford RideLondon Classique
Alex Dowsett says the cycling-friendly roads of Essex are the perfect location for the first two stages of the UK’s leading professional cycling race, the Ford RideLondon Classique.
The former world hour record holder is the Classique’s new Assistant Race Director and will support Race Director and fellow former professional racer Scott Sunderland for the UCI Women’s World Tour event, running between Friday 26 May and Sunday 28 May.
The globe’s best female cyclists, including British cycling royalty Lizzie Deignan, will take to the streets of Essex, and the roads on the first two stages are ones that Dowsett knows well, having grown up in the county.
Stage One is a 150km journey between Saffron Walden and Colchester on Friday 26 May – taking in the towns and villages of Clavering, Wethersfield, Halsted and Manningtree among others, finishing the day on top of East Hill. Stage Two starts and ends in Maldon – visiting villages including Abberton, Tiptree and Little Baddow where there will be three circuits of the daunting North Hill to conclude the stage.
Dowsett, who is also a Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former winner of the London Nocturne criterium, began his cycling career at Maldon and District Cycling Club, the town which hosts the second stage of this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique.
Dowsett, who is from Cock Clarks in Maldon, called time on his career in September 2022 following a successful 12 years in the professional peloton, in which he won two stages of the Giro d’Italia and was crowned national champion on six occasions.
Dowsett said: “This is a unique opportunity to watch elite women’s cycling in the UK, and the race shows the best of Essex and London. North Essex is beautiful for quiet lanes and rolling roads and the towns are so picturesque, and the exposure of finishing on The Mall is exciting for everyone. To see it in my hometown and on roads I have spent hours training on makes it even more special.
“Women’s cycling is growing in popularity in the UK, and we should celebrate the riders who have played such a significant role in making that happen. It promises to be a hugely exciting race.”
Dowsett is confident the same community spirit he felt as a young rider in Essex will result in increased participation moving forward.
“There is a real community in Essex for welcoming young cyclists. The county is quite flat which makes it more enjoyable when cyclists are starting out, and there are vast networks of tiny lanes where you can disappear and stay off the main roads. That is why Ford RideLondon is so popular as it gives people the chance to enjoy closed roads. I loved riding here as I was part of something bigger and I hope this event can continue to inspire people to take part.”
Scott Sunderland, Race Director of the Ford RideLondon Classique, said: “Alex’s knowledge of the roads in Essex is second to none, having grown up on these roads and his expertise will be invaluable in making this race day even more personal and memorable, for the riders and the spectators.”
The Ford RideLondon Classique starts with two stages in Essex on Friday 26 May and Saturday 27 May. Stage One (150km) is from Saffron Walden to Colchester while Stage Two (140km) starts and finishes in Maldon. The final stage (91km) is the iconic finale in central London, starting and finishing on The Mall.
For more information about the Ford RideLondon Classique, click here. All three stages of the Ford RideLondon Classique will be shown live on the BBC in the UK and by broadcasters around the world. The Ford RideLondon Hub at Trafalgar Square will also show all three stages of the Ford RideLondon Classique live on its big screens.