More than 50,000 people are set to cycle their way through central London and Essex
The last day of Ford RideLondon tomorrow (28 May) is set to be a stunning finale as more than 50,000 people are expected to pedal their way along the sun-soaked roads of central London and Essex during four mass-participation events.
The world’s greatest celebration of cycling and an Olympic legacy event will climax in a festival atmosphere with multiple events that have inspired both novice and experienced riders to jump on their bikes and power towards more active, healthier lives.
These include the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30 events, where 25,000 riders will set off from Victoria Embankment in central London from 06:00 and course through Essex before returning to cheering crowds at the Tower Bridge Finish Line.
Meanwhile, thousands of cyclists of all ages, abilities and backgrounds will be able to hop onto a bike at the Ford RideLondon FreeCycle event and enjoy a free, eight-mile, traffic-free route through central London’s landmarks between 10:00 and 15:00.
After two days of gripping professional cycling in Essex through sweeping, sun-dappled countryside and picturesque towns and villages, the third stage of the Ford RideLondon Classique will head to central London and culminate on The Mall (from 15:30 to approximately 17:45).
The only UCI Women’s WorldTour race to be held in the UK this year has already offered lots of thrilling moments in the first two stages, which saw Team DSM’s Charlotte Kool win Stage One and Canyon//Sram’s Chloe Dygert take Stage Two.
The much-anticipated return of Great Britain’s Lizzie Deignan to the UK roads has also enthralled cycling fans, as the Trek-Segafredo rider finished third on Stage One and second on Stage Two.
Day three of Ford RideLondon will offer a colourful, carnival atmosphere and plenty of fun-filled activities at Festival Zones in Bank and St Paul’s and at the Ford RideLondon HUB in Trafalgar Square between 10:00-18:00, which will continue to treat spectators with street entertainers, exciting bike-based activities, and live coverage of the Classique.
“We’re having a great time!” said Jill Miller, from the US, who was at the HUB earlier today with her family, who are visiting London as part of their holiday. “The bicycle acrobats here are absolutely amazing and really good fun.”
Friends Graham Holt and Christopher Beck were also impressed with the wealth of bike-based entertainment on offer: “We’ve had a bit of an explore of the HUB and it’s getting us excited for tomorrow,” said Holt. “I’m doing the 100-mile ride and Chris is doing FreeCycle, and we’re both really looking forward to the day.”
“I did the London Marathon last October and loved it,” continued Holt, “so I thought it would be nice to try a different sport and do something completely different. I’ve not cycled that much in London, so I joined a cycling club and got out and tried it – and really enjoyed it.
“I’ve really enjoyed the training and I think it will be a nice event tomorrow. It’s also event number two of the London Classics for me, which I really want to complete this year.”
Also speaking on day two of Ford RideLondon, Assistant Race Director of the Classique, Alex Dowsett, said: “I’m so proud that an international event like this comes so close to home [Essex] and I’ve been banging on about my local roads to anyone that will listen.”
Describing Stage One of the Ford RideLondon Classique, he said: “It was exciting; it was quite a steady start to the race and then everyone split up and you had the full, wonderful run in where it was a big break – where it was like will they catch them, won’t they catch them – and the pelotons chasing and the pushing upfront for the spectacle, it doesn’t get better than that and Lizzie [Deignan] getting on the podium was amazing.”