Prudential RideLondon ‘brilliant’, says London commissioner
29 Jul 2017, 9:24 p.m.
London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman officially declared the 2017 Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling “brilliant” today after tens of thousands of families, friends and fun-seekers pedalled into the heart of the capital to enjoy 10 miles of traffic-free roads around the city centre.
The day began with three Guinness World Records set by stuntman Andrei Burton’s world-beating trials tricksters at the Green Park Festival Zone, and ended with a rain-drenched victory on The Mall for Coryn Rivera in the Prudential RideLondon Classique.
“Prudential RideLondon has been brilliant so far,” said Norman today. “It’s fantastic to welcome so many cyclists to this great city. Around 100,000 cyclists will be taking part in the event this weekend, cycling three million miles.
“You can see, from being out on the FreeCycle route, that people of all ages are inspired to take part. That’s the power of this phenomenal event; to inspire Londoners to cycle more.
“Having both the pro races as WorldTour events, with equal prize money for the men and women, really symbolises how London is open for business and is open for everyone to come and enjoy themselves,” he added.
Rivera certainly enjoyed herself in the Classique as she powered past her rivals to take the world’s richest one-day prize in a frantic sprint down The Mall at the end of an absorbing race.
Rivera emerged from under Admiralty Arch at the end of an hour-and-a-half of fast and furious racing around St James’s Park, Parliament Square and Whitehall. She skimmed past Lisa Brennauer on the outside and held off the fast-finishing Finn Lotta Lepisto, who was denied victory by the width of her tyre. Read the full race report here.
“It’s really special to win a race here,” said the American. “I loved the atmosphere.”
There was a special start to the day too, when Andrei Burton and co-stuntmen Lazlo Hegedus and Rick Koekoek smashed three world records in 20 minutes at the Buxton UrbanTrials arena.
The trio thrilled the crowd as they hopped, jumped and leapt to set best-ever marks for the highest bicycle forward step-up, the longest bar-to-bar bicycle jump and the highest bicycle bunny hop, feats described by Guinness World Records adjudicator Sofia Greenacre as “officially amazing”.
“It’s good to give Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle a record-breaking flavour,” said Burton, who has added some record-breaking spice to every edition of the festival since 2014.
If Burton was the day’s entrée, Brompton provided the dessert as the mini-wheeled World Championship Final brought day two of Prudential RideLondon to an end with a close yet flamboyant victory for Spain’s Unai Alvarez Mosquera over a field of more than 500 fancy-dressed riders.
“Prudential RideLondon really is a true Olympic legacy event,” commented Norman. “I can’t think of many other events that have continued that desire from 2012 to get people active. In the five years since the London Olympics, this event has inspired 80,000 Londoners to cycle more, or to start cycling, and it continues to do so.
“Our ambition for London is to build walking, cycling and physical activity into the way we use our city – designing it into our everyday lives – and cycling has so much potential in terms of active travel.
“We’re investing in the infrastructure for London, so more people can cycle further safely and enjoy themselves while they do so. We’re also increasing facilities for pedestrians to enjoy walking around the capital.
“I’m doing the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 tomorrow and gearing myself up for the 100 next year,” he added. “The 46 will be my first sportive. I’m an avid commuter cyclist but I haven’t done any long-distance rides since I was a kid, so Prudential RideLondon is inspiring me to do more cycling too.”
The first riders in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 will roll away from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at 05:45 tomorrow while the first 46ers start their journeys through the closed roads of London and Surrey at 09:00.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, featuring some of the world’s top professional men’s riders, will start at Horse Guards Parade at 13:40 and bring the whole weekend to a close on The Mall around 18:15.