Insurance company Prudential has been announced as the sponsor of the RideLondon Olympic legacy event to be held this August, which will involve 70,000 cyclists ranging from families to some of the world's top pros taking to the roads of London and Surrey. The routes of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic pro race and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 amateur event have also been announced this morning - you can download the map at the end of this article.
Those two events take in some of the routes of the Olympic road races last Summer such as Richmond Park and Box Hill, although there are key differences, including the fact that the way out of and back into the centre London is a loop, rather than along the same roads.
For the pro race, there’s no Box Hill circuit, but prior to taking on that ascent once they will tackle the area’s other tough climb, Leith Hill, three times.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 follows a similar route, although the way out from the start at what was the Olympic Park is different, and that Leith Hill loop is only ridden once. With an entry system similar to that employed by the London Marathon, some 55,000 people have registered their interest for the 20,000 places available.
Organisers say that applicants will learn from today whether they have secured a place, and point out that as happens in the London Marathon, some spots have been held back for charities to distribute to fundraisers.
“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,” said Mr Johnson.
“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, which in 1998 and 1999 sponsored the Tour of Britain under the name the PruTour, has committed to sponsor the event for three years and group chief executive Tidjane Thiam commented: “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.”
The event is being organised by London and Surrey Cycling Partnership, a joint venture between SweetSpot, organisers of the Tour of Britain and the Tour Series, and the company behind the London Marathon.
Hugh Brasher, a director of the joint venture 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.”
According to organisers, the full programme for the weekend is:
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 Grand Prix to be held on Saturday 3 August, which will feature the world’s best women, junior and hand cyclists in action on a circuit in and around St James’s Park.
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 entire festival as well as live coverage of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be shown on BBC TV.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.