We pick out the best places for spectators to watch the RideLondon-Surrey Classic road race and sportive
Watching the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive and Classic road race on Sunday, August 2, is completely free for spectators, and there are many locations along the route that will give you a good vantage point to view the action.
The sportive starts at 6am at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before the Classic road race kicks off in the afternoon.
The race departs at 1.30pm from Horse Guards Parade, St James Park, London, then follows a neutralised (non-racing) section to Earls Court where the racing proper will commence. The 200km (125 mile) event is due to finish in The Mall just before 6.30pm.
If you can’t watch the events in person, then the BBC will be showing live television coverage over the weekend.
Below are Cycling Weekly‘s top seven suggested viewing spots for spectators.
The road race passes around a loop of Ranmore Common three times, making it one of the best spots to view the action several times over. The top of Ranmore near St Barnabas Church has a wide open grassy space which should provide plenty of space for spectators – it’s also a favourite for photographers. The sportive does not visit Ranmore, but instead travels directly through Westcott and Dorking – see route maps below.
The Surrey commuter town of Dorking provides the focal point of no less that four intermediate sprints as the race loops around Ranmore Common and out to Westcott. Plenty of parking and rail access may mean that the town will get busy, particularly with closed roads, so finding a spot early on is advisable.
Surrey’s highest point will be tacked by riders just once in the road race. Confusingly, the road race goes up Leith Hill one way, and the sportive another – check the route maps below. On a clear day, the gothic tower at the top of this National Trust site offers a panoramic view of London.
It will not be the focal point it was during the Olympic events, yet Surrey’s cycling hotspot has plenty to offer spectators, from its grassy, banked natural grandstands to the Alpe d’Huez-style hairpin bends. Stand in the right spot and you’ll be able to see the riders at various points in the hills.
One of the most atmospheric spots during the Olympic events, the peloton will pass through Kingston en route to the Surrey Hills and then again as they head towards The Mall. The Kingston Bike Festival will offer plenty of amusement aside from watching the sportive/road race, including big screens showing live coverage of the race.
The affluent, Thames-side suburb is where Alexandre Vinokourov and Rigoberto Uran successfully broke away from the lead group during the London 2012 Olympic road race. Easily accessible by public transport and offers plenty of pubs within a short walk of the route.
Guaranteed to be extremely busy from Sunday morning, The Mall will give spectators the chance to celebrate with those who complete the 100-mile sportive as well as offering the best views of the final metres of the race, particularly since a bunch sprint is likely.
Women’s RideLondon Grand Prix – St James’s Park
There’s only one place to watch the RideLondon Grand Prix on Saturday, August 1, and that’s in St James’s Park. The women’s race is based on a 1.3-mile loop starting and finishing on The Mall, passing in front of Buckingham Palace and taking in Birdcage Walk and Horse Guards Road. The race starts at 6pm, with the Brompton world championships folding bike race on the same circuit at 5pm.
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic route timing
Approximate timings for when the race will pass through certain locations, British Summer Time. Timings are based on an average speed of 26mph. Intermediate sprint points and King of the Mountains (KOM) points noted.
Sunday, August 2
DEPART Horse Guards Parade 1.30pm
START Earls Court 1.39pm
Hampton Court Bridge 2.07pm
Leith Hill KOM 3.25pm
Dorking SPRINT 3.40pm
Ranmore Common KOM 3.50pm
Dorking SPRINT 4.07pm
Ranmore Common KOM 4.17pm
Dorking SPRINT 4.35pm
Ranmore Common KOM 4.45pm
Dorking SPRINT 5.03pm
Box Hill Summit KOM 5.11pm
Surrey County border 5.48pm
Wimbledon SPRINT 6.03pm
FINISH The Mall 6.25pm
Watch it on television – BBC coverage
The BBC and British Eurosport will be showing live coverage of RideLondon events.
Saturday, August 1
6.00-7.00pm: RideLondon Grand Prix, BBC Two
6.00-7.00pm: RideLondon Grand Prix, British Eurosport
Sunday, August 2
10.00-10.30am: RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive, BBC Two
2.20-7.00pm: RideLondon-Surrey Classic road race, British Eurosport
3.00-6.30pm: RideLondon-Surrey Classic road race, BBC One
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