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RideLondon set to continue from 2022-31 but in new format, Transport for London papers reveal

Plans outlined for capital’s festival of cycling to switch to one-day format in the spring, with no men’s elite race and sportive routes not venturing into Surrey

RideLondon, the mass participation cycling event launched in 2013 as a legacy of the previous year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, is set to be relaunched for 2022-31 according to papers from Transport for London (TfL) – but it will take place over just one day annually, rather than a weekend, and will not venture into Surrey.

Proposals for the revised format of the event for the next decade are contained in a report forming part of Transport for London (TfL) agenda papers (at pages 107-112) prepared ahead of a meeting of its Finance Committee next Wednesday 10 March, highlighted on Twitter by user Always Last.

Held from 2013-19 over the weekend following the end of the Tour de France in late July or early August, it is planned that what is billed as the world’s biggest festival of cycling will now move to a spring slot and be held over a single day.

In previous editions, the sportive rides, including the Ride-London Surrey 100, took in the Surrey Hills, as did the men’s UCI race, the Ride-London Surrey Classic.

However, in late 2019, Surrey County Council launched a public consultation into whether it should continue to host the event from 2021-25, and confirmed in October it would be withdrawing its support.

> Surrey withdraws support for RideLondon in favour of “less disruptive events”

Prudential, which supported the race from its inaugural edition, had already announced that it was ending its sponsorship, while the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s planned event – a virtual edition to raise funds for charity was held instead – as well as a one-day version that had been due to take place this spring.

> RideLondon looking for new headline sponsor

Meanwhile, delivery partner London Marathon Events (LME) decided not to seek UCI authorisation for the men’s elite race, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic for this year.  

The TfL agenda papers for next week’s meeting, which is requested to approve LME to continue as delivery partner, confirm that the race has been dropped from the planned programme for 2022-31, due to it becoming “increasingly difficult to agree a date” with the UCI.

However, the UCI Women’s WorldTour race, the RideLondon Classique, held on a closed circuit, forms part of the expected new programme, as will the popular family ride, and mass participation challenge rides, with examples given being a “100-mile route for around 25,000 riders, a 45-mile route for around 5,000 participants and a 20-mile route for around 2,000 participants.”

The report prepared for the TfL Finance Committee also says that following Surrey County Council’s withdrawal, “we need to agree a new route with LME. This is a significant undertaking that will take approximately 18 months to plan and seek relevant stakeholder agreements. It was considered that this would be more achievable with a one-day event.”

It adds that the proposed new agreement with LME “does, however, allow both parties to propose and agree changes to the route and nature of the event in later years.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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