RideLondon is set to return on 29th May 2022 with a new format, a new partnership with Essex County Council and a new three-day UCI Women’s World Tour stage race.
Established by the Mayor of London in 2013 as an Olympic legacy event from the 2012 London Games, over seven annual editions RideLondon has grown into a record-breaking festival of cycling enjoyed by more than 460,000 participants, from beginners to the world’s best professionals. The event could not be held in 2020 or 2021 due to restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Next year, the festival will take place over one day with a consolidated format that will allow more families to be a part of it. The new spring event date aims to help people engage with cycling much earlier in the year, so they can maintain the momentum to cycle all year round.
The festival is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from across London and the UK, helping to boost trade on local high streets and sustain the region’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Transport for London confirmed in March that RideLondon would return from spring 2022 under a new partnership with London Marathon Events (LME). The new partnership with LME will run until 2031 and shape the event for the future, with a greater focus on inspiring Londoners from all backgrounds to take up cycling as part of their daily lives.
In addition, following many months of discussions with potential event partners, it is now confirmed RideLondon will be partnering with Essex County Council from 2022.
The partnership will mean Essex will be the joint host of a new 100-mile challenge ride that will start in the capital, go out to Essex and finish back in central London. The county will also host stages one and two of the new three-day UCI Women’s WorldTour road race, which will be held from 27th-29th May and feature the world’s best teams and riders.
RideLondon will also feature shorter family-oriented rides on traffic-free roads. The full format of the event and routes across London and Essex will be announced in due course. Entries for the RideLondon-Essex 100 will open on 10th November. Find out more at ridelondon.co.uk.
“RideLondon’s new partnership with Essex County Council will bring an exciting new format and route for this hugely popular festival,” said Julie Dixon, TfL’s head of customer information, design and partnerships. “We’re really looking forward to next year’s event, which will enable thousands of people of all ages and abilities to come together again to celebrate cycling and enjoy traffic-free streets.”
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, added: “I’m delighted that, after two years away, RideLondon will return with an exciting new partnership with Essex County Council. RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling and one of the highlights of the year for Londoners. From building confidence in new cyclists to enabling more experienced riders to push themselves, as well as offering a chance to cheer on the professionals – there is something for everyone to enjoy.”
Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for Essex and a tremendous boost for a county which is committed to cycling for all ages and abilities and to supporting active lifestyles. Last week we launched Everyone’s Essex, which contains a commitment to get more people to live healthily.
“With RideLondon coming to our great county, we have the chance to inspire people of all ages to get pedalling, and at the same time benefit communities across Essex thanks to the charities and community organisations the event’s charitable trust supports.”
Hugh Brasher, event director of RideLondon, said: “RideLondon has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to cycle more and to date it has raised an incredible £80 million for charities. We are proud of all it has achieved and excited about our plans for 2022 onwards, which offer unique opportunities for our commercial partners.
“We look forward to working with our partners at Essex County Council and numerous London boroughs to create a truly extraordinary celebration of cycling.”
Brian Facer, CEO of British Cycling, said: “Whether you’ve conquered the 100-mile route for charity, cycled down the capital’s most iconic roads without a car in sight or watched the world’s best riders do battle, everybody in our community has a RideLondon story.
“The event has been sorely missed over the past two years, but with an exciting new partnership with Essex County Council and plenty of new routes to explore, I’m certain the 2022 edition will be every bit worth the wait.”
Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, founder of the Black Unity Bike Ride, said: “It’s fantastic news that RideLondon is returning in 2022. Cycling is a wonderful way of breaking down barriers and RideLondon is a perfect demonstration of this. It brings people of all backgrounds and abilities together to be part of a truly unique, fun and inspirational event.
“The Black Unity Bike Ride Alliance welcomes the opportunity to support the event and diversify the sport of cycling further.”
Organisations in Essex will now be eligible to apply for grants from The London Marathon Charitable Trust for projects that inspire activity. Further details of RideLondon 2022 will be announced over the coming months.