The three-day UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race will return to Essex and London this year
The Start and Finish venues for the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique, part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, have today been announced.
The three-day stage race between Friday 26 May and Sunday 28 May will once again have two stages in Essex before the famous final stage in central London. All three stages will be broadcast by the BBC in the UK.
Stage One (150km) on Friday 26 May will start in the medieval market town of Saffron Walden, located in the west of Essex, before a stunning finish on East Hill in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in Britain.
Maldon, another Essex town with a rich and varied history, will host both the start and finish of Stage Two (140km) on Saturday 27 May, having successfully hosted the opening stage of last year’s race.
The final stage on Sunday 28 May will take place in the heart of London, with both the start and finish on The Mall, one of the world’s most famous roads that runs from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. The stage will see riders race multiple laps of an exciting city centre circuit that will take them past some of London’s most famous landmarks.
Scott Sunderland, Ford RideLondon Classique race director, said: “The 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique will once again showcase both the beauty and history of Essex in the first two stages, before concluding with a stunning finale in the heart of London on some of the most famous streets in the world.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Saffron Walden, Colchester and Maldon to come out and see the world’s best female riders racing through their roads and we thank Uttlesford District Council, Colchester City Council and Maldon District Council for helping to make this possible.
“We are also delighted the final stage is returning to The Mall and we can continue to bring a world-class bike race to the very heart of London. We know how much the riders love racing in one of the world’s great cities and the support they get from the roadside.”
Councillor Alexander Armstrong, Portfolio Holder for Sports and Leisure at Uttlesford District Council, said: “We’re looking forward to Saffron Walden hosting Stage One of the Ford RideLondon Classique – it should be a fantastic spectacle and shine a spotlight on our district and beautiful and historic market towns. The mass participation rides on the Sunday are also an opportunity for people to keep fit and active, and to promote active travel as part of the move towards carbon net zero.”
Councillor Julie Young, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “Throughout 2023 we’re holding celebratory events to mark the first year of Colchester being named a modern city, as everyone comes together for The Year of Celebration. Ford RideLondon is a superb chance to showcase Colchester’s commitment to encouraging residents and tourists to visit and explore on their bicycles – from our state-of-the-art cycle track to providing more than 700 free bikes to our residents. Cheering the best cyclists in the world over the Finish Line is the cherry on the cake!
“I know residents, businesses and schools will join me on the day to celebrate and we look forward to working with Ford RideLondon to put on the best event.”
Councillor Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council, said: “I am pleased to see that this prestigious women’s Ford RideLondon Classique race will be returning to our district on Saturday 27 May. I hope the whole community will turn out in force to support this wonderful spectacle and cheer on the world’s best female cyclists as they race through our district and reach the Finish Line in Maldon.”
The full route details of the three stages will be confirmed shortly.
The Ford RideLondon Classique is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the highest level of professional women’s cycling in the world. It became a three-day stage race for the first time in 2022 when Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes (then riding for Team DSM) won all three stages and the general classification in a dominant display.
The Classique is part of Ford RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, which includes four mass participation events that will take place on Sunday 28 May, the same day as the final stage of the Classique. The events include Ford FreeCycle, a free event for all that takes place on largely the same roads as the final stage of the Classique, and the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30-mile rides.