Prudential Ride London Classic becomes Britain’s first men’s UCI WorldTour race
On Sunday 30 July, the 2017 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will make history as it becomes Great Britain’s first ever men’s UCI WorldTour race.
In just its fifth year, the race, part of the world’s greatest festival of cycling, has been awarded WorldTour status by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), putting it in the top tier of men’s road races.
This means both professional races at Prudential RideLondon now have UCI WorldTour status with the women’s race, the Prudential RideLondon Classique on Saturday 29 July, having been elevated to the top tier in 2016.
Both events are the richest one-day races in the world as Prudential RideLondon continues its commitment to parity for men and women by offering prize pots of 100,000 euros for both the Classic and Classique.
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas – who illuminated last year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic with a thrilling solo bid for victory 50 kilometres out before getting caught in the final five kilometres – said: “To have won on home roads last year would have been massive. Coming back to Britain and to do races like the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic is fantastic and the way cycling has grown and the amount of people who love it and come out to watch the race makes it even more special.
“Now the race is UCI WorldTour, the standard of the field will go up that much more and there will be a lot of really good bike riders racing in London on Sunday 30 July. It will be super-competitive and super-fast and I think it’s going to be a really exciting race.”
To watch Thomas talk more about the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and how close he got to winning the race in 2016, click here.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The Prudential RideLondon Classic is one of the highlights of the greatest cycling festival in the world, and as Mayor, I’m delighted that this year the race will have its first ever UCI WorldTour status. With an array of superstar cyclists set to take part, the festival is guaranteed to help us inspire thousands more Londoners to take up cycling, and is yet another demonstration of how our great city attracts talent from around the globe.”
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic rolls out from the spectacular setting of Horse Guards Parade in St James’s Park as the teams race through London and out into the beautiful Surrey countryside and the famous climbs of Leith Hill and Box Hill before heading back to the centre of the capital and the iconic finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The race will be covered live on BBC One and launching today there will be dedicated social media channels for both the Classic and the Prudential RideLondon Classique which can be found on Twitter @RideLondonWT and on Facebook by searching RideLondon WT.
UCI WorldTour status will mean a record number of WorldTour teams will take part in this year’s race.
Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, said: “We are extremely proud that the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic has been awarded UCI WorldTour status in just five years and is now one of the top tier of global races. It is a testament to the hard work done by everyone in the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership.
“Every year the race has grown in stature with the quality of the teams getting stronger and stronger. Last year we welcomed superstars such as Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas and saw former world champion Tom Boonen sprinting to victory after a fantastic race.
“UCI WorldTour status means the best teams and the best riders in the world will be taking part and I’m confident we will have a thrilling race that really will live up to its Classic name.”
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic is a legacy event from the London 2012 Olympics with the route covering much of the same ground as the road races from those Games. The total distance for the race is 187 km with just two circuits of Ranmore Common as opposed to the three in previous years, See the route map and profile here.
Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Achieving UCI WorldTour status is a great accolade for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic which affirms Surrey’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination and will doubtless inspire even more people from Surrey and beyond to take to two wheels. We’re delighted to be welcoming many of the world’s best riders to take on the challenge of competing on the county’s roads this summer.”
Prudential RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling with more than 100,000 riders participating in seven different events over the weekend of 28-30 July.
The theme of this year’s Prudential RideLondon is #ReasonToRide with everyone taking part over the weekend encouraged to share their reason to cycle on social media. There will be videobooths at the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show at the Excel Centre from July 27-29 where visitors will be able to record their #ReasonToRide messages and share them on social media.
Team Sky star Geraint Thomas says: “My #ReasonToRide is for the freedom of it. When I was a kid, it opened so many more doors for me. I couldn’t drive and there was only so far I could walk, but riding a bike you can go exploring different roads and you can see so much of the world. It’s a great sport and I love to get on the bike even now if there is a new road or little climb to see. It’s just a nice way to get away from the real world.”
The weekend’s action begins with youth and handcycle races plus BMX competitions in Lee Valley VeloPark at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday 28 July. The programme for Saturday 29 July features more than 70,000 riders of all ages and abilities enjoying traffic-free roads in central London in Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, followed by the excitement of the world’s top women racing in the Prudential RideLondon Classique and fun of the Brompton World Championship Final.
On the final day, Sunday 30 July, 25,000 riders will take on the challenge of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and another 5,000 riders will participate in the shorter mass participation challenge, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46. The men’s professional race then provides the thrilling climax to three days of celebrating the bike.
The organisers of Prudential RideLondon will deliver an extensive community engagement programme with the support of TfL, the London boroughs on the route and Surrey County Council to help residents and businesses along the route plan ahead. This will include pre-awareness campaign posters on the transport network, a series of customer information emails and a leaflet drop in July to 1 million+ residents and businesses along the route. Information on travel disruption and advice will be available on www.tfl.gov.uk/ridelondon. To avoid delays over the event weekend, all drivers are advised to avoid areas near the event routes.