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Entries open on Tuesday for 2024’s Ford RideLondon-Essex – and will be first-come, first-served rather than ballot

New entry format for hugely popular sportive spells end of the road for the dreaded magazine that informed hopeful participants that they’d missed out on a place

Places for next year’s Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 will go on sale next Tuesday – and for the first ever time, they will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis rather than via ballot.

Ever since the event, aimed at providing a legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was first held in 2013, hopeful participants have been required to register for the ballot.

And each year, social media has been awash with posts from disappointed would-be riders, many of whom only found out that they had been unsuccessful after receiving a magazine from organisers informing them that they had not secured a place.

The magazine contained details of charities allocated entries, the only option available for those wanting to take part in the sportive but who have been unsuccessful in the ballot, with a minimum  fundraising target typically applying for one of those places.

That feeling of dread as the mail drops through the letterbox will now be a thing of the past, with organisers London Marathon Events outlining the new entry procedure today.

The company expects demand for the places for the 100-mile, closed-road event, which will take place on Sunday 26 May next year, to be high when they go on sale at 10am next Tuesday 15 August at ridelondon.co.uk.

Besides the general entry places, which cost £99, there will also be 250 VIP places going on sale on Tuesday, again on a first-come, first-served basis and which cost £275.

Those entries include access to hospitality at the start and finish, the opportunity to choose your own start wave, including riding with friends, baggage drop and collection and a VIP food stop at the halfway point of the ride.

This year, more than 22,500 riders took part in the Ford RideLondon-Essex sportive, mostly on the 100-mile route from Central London into Essex and back, with some participants following shorter routes of 60 or 30 miles, places for which will go on sale for next year’s edition closer to the event.

Hugh Brasher, Ford RideLondon Event Director, said: “The Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 is the ultimate challenge ride.

“It’s a unique opportunity to cycle 100 miles on traffic-free roads that take in the contrasting beauty of the Essex countryside and the stunning urban landmarks of central London.

“We expect entries to sell out fast, so visit ridelondon.co.uk on Tuesday 15 August to secure your place for next year’s ride on Sunday 26 May.”

Essex County Council has partnered with the event since it resumed last year following a two-year hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the first seven editions of the event, spanning 2013-19, riders headed out from the capital into the Surrey Hills, following more or less the same route that would be used later the same day in the elite men’s race, the London-Surrey Classic.

The men’s race was dropped when the event resumed last year, while the women’s elite race, the Ford RideLondon Classique, previously a one-day race held on the Saturday evening, now spans three days with the opening two stages taking place in Essex.

The finale to that race takes place now on the Sunday afternoon on a closed-road circuit in the centre of London, which earlier in the day hosts the family-friendly Ford RideLondon FreeCycle ride.

Full route details for next year’s Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 will be revealed in the coming months, say organisers.

This year’s event was criticised by Tony Blackburn due to the closed roads in central London, with the disc jockey suggesting instead that a similar event could be held for car owners – something he later claimed was a joke after his comments attracted widespread derision on social media.

> Stars in their cars – Criticising RideLondon road closures reflects wider view that car is king

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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2 comments

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OllieB | 11 months ago
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Does the VIP feed area include whole bananas, or do they just get to pick 2 half bananas like the rest of us. ...

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Bucks Cycle Cammer | 11 months ago
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"for the first ever time, they will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis rather than via ballot.

Ever since the event, aimed at providing a legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was first held in 2013, hopeful participants have been required to register for the ballot."

Not completely true. Since the move to Essex, there has been an initial first-come-first-served allocation (10,000 spaces, IIRC) with a ballot opening later for the rest.

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