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RideLondon: it’s all change as cycling festival on closed roads returns

RideLondon: it’s all change as cycling festival on closed roads returns

There were notable differences from the last time the event was held in 2019. Here are five thoughts RideLondon is back. After a Covid-enforced hiatus,…

Monday, May 30

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There were notable differences from the last time the event was held in 2019. Here are five thoughts

RideLondon is back. After a Covid-enforced hiatus, the closed-roads cycling festival held its first incarnation since 2019 on Sunday, with both the family-based Freecycle and the 30-, 60- and 100-mile rides held on the same day. There have been some changes – so what was it like? As has become traditional , here are five thoughts about the event. Goodbye Surrey, hello Essex

The first seven editions of the RideLondon 100 (and its shorter cousins) took riders on the same route into the Surrey Hills and back. Now it is Essex, and the difference is notable. No especially steep inclines, like Surrey’s Leith Hill, and more in the way of wide roads – especially in London, where the route in and out, through Stratford and beyond, was something of a mini-tour of London’s urban motorways and underpasses.

It’s fair to say that the old route, through west London and Richmond Park, was more scenic, and that lovely as the Essex lanes are, we saw relatively few of them. There is a reason: one plan was to avoid rapid, narrow descents (such as Leith Hill) to reduce the number of crashes, and also ensure that if someone did need medical help it would not necessitate re-routing riders, as happened in 2016. This year, a rider did require an air ambulance after a suspected heart attack (the good news is they are understood to be […]

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