‘I’d encourage everyone to take part,’ says Sir Dave Brailsford
4 Aug 2019, 5:20 p.m.
As the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic race unfolded on the roads of London and Surrey, we caught up with Sir Dave Brailsford, General Manager of Team Ineos, to find out why he thinks Prudential RideLondon is a truly unique event.
“I ride my bike a lot, all over the place with the races that we go to, but one of the great things about Prudential RideLondon is that you get to ride with all sorts of people – from keen club cyclists to people who are on mountain bikes in their trainers. It’s a brilliant challenge that everyone’s undertaking together.
“It’s a bit more of a challenge for some than others, but you can see that a lot of people are doing it for good causes, they are motivated to work towards something, and that comes out during the ride – there’s great camaraderie, great chat, a lot of people talking. It’s not about the bike ride per se, but the experience and you can’t get that anywhere else.
“Taking part in events like Prudential RideLondon brings something fresh to my cycling too. As much as it’s a privilege to work with the elite side of the sport, where a lot of effort and resources go into a few riders who are at the top of the pyramid, events like this are really inspiring.
“I love cycling through and through. If I didn’t work in cycling I’d still do this event, so to be able to participate with everyday cyclists is something I would choose to do anyway – it’s fantastic.
“You think you’re familiar with roads when they’re open to traffic, but when they’re closed to traffic they feel very, very different to ride on – they’re faster and it’s safer.
“The great thing about this sportive is that you get to see one of the greatest city centres in the world, but before you know it you’re out at Hampton Court then you’re into the Surrey lanes, and Box Hill, which is so well known and remembered from the 2012 Olympics – it was great to ride up there. Then before you know it you’re back into London, coming down the side of the Thames, and then you finish on The Mall.
“Last week we were going up and down the Champs-Elysees [at the final stage of the Tour de France], which is some setting – I guess only to be rivalled by cycling up and down here; The Mall is just as iconic so it’s been a brilliant couple of weeks really!
“The field for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic this year features a lot of the world’s best sprinters so I think it’s going to come down to a sprint as most of the teams have an interest in that.
“Team Ineos has Kris Halvorsen, a young sprinter who is developing still, so all our cards will be in to try and sneak a win for Kris by riding off the back of some of the more experienced sprinters.
“I would encourage everyone to ride a bike because it offers freedom. That’s what I like about it. There’s no doubt that when you’re doing something like cycling, or running or walking, that it frees your mind and you can think more clearly.
“There’s definitely a positive psychological element to cycling, and the older I’ve become, the more I’ve realised that the physical aspect of riding a bike also gives you a psychological boost. It’s a bit like meditation really so I can’t encourage people enough to give it a try.
“In terms of Prudential RideLondon, to ride around London in a safe environment with a lot of other people, feeling like you’re part of something major is a great feeling so I’d encourage everyone to take part.”
If you’d like to take part in next year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, enter the ballot now. The 2020 sportive will take place on Sunday 16 August 2020.