News & Media

Prudential RideLondon boosts the capital’s coffers

The world’s greatest festival of cycling contributes more than £80 million to London’s ecomony

The first four years of the Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling have boosted the capital’s economy by £82 million, according to independent research released by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotion agency.

The three-day event started in 2013 and last year brought more than 100,000 riders onto the streets of London and Surrey, plus 300,000 who came to watch the two prestigious professional road races of UCI WorldTour status. Between them they spent a total of £23.2 million in 2016 while the overall value to London’s economy over four years is nearly four times that figure from spending on accommodation, food, equipment and training.

This includes money spent by ‘Londoners’, visitors, participants and organisers, and amounts to “a real injection into the economy” according to Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, who expects a further increase in numbers in 2017.

“The number of participants and spectators has gone up each year as more and more people get involved. And this year, the new UCI WorldTour status for the men’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will make it even more popular for both riders and spectators,” he said.

The news was also welcomed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who commented: “Thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities will take part in this year’s Prudential RideLondon.

“It is the largest festival of cycling in the world, an array of superstar cyclists are set to take part and it helps us inspire thousands more Londoners to take up cycling. It is yet another demonstration of how this great city remains well and truly open.”

Speaking about the decision to award the Prudential RideLondon pro races WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour status, Brian Cookson, President of the international cycling federation, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), added: “The city has a great track record for cycling and fan engagement, and has attracted some of the best names in cycling and great media exposure.

“Prudential RideLondon has proved itself to be a well-organised, successful event with some thrilling sporting performances finishing in the heart of this iconic capital city.

“The event carries on the London 2012 Olympic legacy, and London is the first event in the UK to be part of the UCI WorldTour. We are extremely supportive of London as a feature on the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour calendars.”

The weekend's action begins with youth and handcycle races plus BMX competitions in Lee Valley VeloPark at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday 28 July.

The programme for Saturday 29 July features more than 70,000 riders of all ages and abilities enjoying traffic-free roads in central London in Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, followed by the excitement of the world's top women racing in the Prudential RideLondon Classique and the fun of the Brompton World Championship Final.

On Sunday 30 July, 25,000 riders will take on the challenge of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and another 5,000 riders will participate in the shorter 46-mile mass participation challenge, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46. The men's professional race, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, then provides the thrilling climax to three days of celebrating the bike.

Both the Classique and the Classic will reach unprecedented numbers this year through wider-then-ever TV broadcast distribution. The Classic will be broadcast in 201 countries and the Classique in 162. In the United States, NBC will show both races live on its subscription platform, NBC Sports Gold.