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RideLondon-Surrey called off in wake of coronavirus outbreak

3 minute read
RideLondon-Surrey called off in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 12:03pm 20th May 2020. (Updated at 12:21pm 20th May 2020)

This year's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey has been cancelled as it becomes the latest major sporting event to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual two day festival of cycling - currently managed by the London and Surrey Cycling Partnership - was developed by the Mayor of London, Transport for London and London and Partners, in conjunction with Surrey County Council.

It has been held in London and Surrey in the summer since 2013, as a legacy event of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 2020 edition was scheduled for mid-August - but today the organisers announced that the London authorities had made a decision to call it off.

The cycling festival was to have featured four mass participation events, over the weekend of the 15 and 16 August:

  • Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 19, 46 and 100 sportives
  • Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, the free-for-all event that invites cyclists to pedal round seven miles of traffic-free roads in central London
  • Two professional races: The UCI WorldTour Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and Prudential RideLondon Classique, in addition to the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show at ExCeL London and the Brompton World Championship Final.

The Mayor’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said it was the "right decision:"

"RideLondon has been one of the highlights of the capital’s event calendar for the last seven so it is obviously disappointing that it cannot be staged this year.

"But it is absolutely the right decision to cancel this year’s event to ensure the safety of everyone involved and we all look forward to welcoming RideLondon back again in the near future."

Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, Hugh Brasher, said they were aware this would come as a disappointment to professional cyclists and riders, and to charities that would have benefitted from fundraising - but, he added, "I am sure everyone will understand why this decision has been made."

Mr Brasher said the organisers were working with Prudential and the Mayor of London's office to see if the weekend can be celebrated in any other way.

He also said they would be looking at reviewing the format and timing of future events:

"2021 will be the first year of a new contract to deliver RideLondon and, with the current unknowns about the short-term future for mass participation events and the importance of inspiring as many people as possible to cycle more often, we’re taking the opportunity to fully review the format and timing of the event over the next few months."

Participants and charities that bought places this year will be refunded their entry fee in full.

You can find out more on the event's website.