Mayor of London Boris Johnson called the 2015 Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling “the greatest mass-participation cycling event in the world” today as the award-winning weekend of two-wheeled action came to a successful close this evening.
In 2013 Johnson was one of more than 16,000 finishers in the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, and just two year’s later more than 95,000 cyclists took over the roads of London and Surrey for the biggest two-day festival of cycling so far.
Club cyclists, celebrities and amateur riders of all varieties were among the 25,564 cyclists who completed today’s sportive in glorious London sunshine after some 70,000 families, friends and fun-seeking pedallers had poured on to the closed roads of central London on Saturday for the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle.
Yesterday evening, Barbara Guarischi won a dramatic race to keep the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix title in Italy’s hands at the end of a fabulous first day that had started with a world record for the longest hop by stunt cyclist Andrei Burton, who leapt 260cm back wheel to back wheel between two raised barriers.
In the afternoon, Burton and his team of world-class trials bike riders stunned the crowds with tricks galore in the final of the International Urban Trials competition at Green Park, one of the six FreeCycle Festival Zones where bike-themed activities kept the cycling masses entertained for seven hours of traffic-free pedalling.
And this evening, the whole weekend came to a thrilling conclusion on The Mall when Luxembourg rider Jean-Pierre Drucker of BMC Racing Team produced the sprint of his life to take the first victory of his professional career in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, an event featuring Britain’s very own cycling superstars Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
“Once again the magnificent Prudential RideLondon has proved that it is without doubt the greatest mass-participation cycling event in the world,” said Johnson.
“Whether it is elite athletes from across the globe, enthusiastic amateurs or families and children who have got into the cycling spirit, it has been a wonderful advert for the sport and the city.
“The event is rapidly turning into the London Marathon on wheels and I hope it will be a firm fixture in London's sporting calendar for many more years to come.”
Richard Walsh, the cabinet member for localities and community wellbeing at Surrey County Council, added his own words of praise, calling it a “wonderful spectacle”.
“Surrey's stunning scenery has been on full display as elite riders and amateurs alike have conquered climbs and covered miles of countryside in glorious sunshine, cheered on by crowds lining the route,” he said.
“Together they have made this celebration of pedal power a wonderful spectacle which will no doubt inspire many others to enjoy the benefits of taking to two wheels. Now we are looking forward to welcoming the event to Surrey next year and once again showcasing the county to the world.”
The ballot for next year’s RideLondon-Surrey 100 opens at www.ridelondon.co.uk online on Monday 10 August 2015.
Next year’s RideLondon festival will be held on the weekend of Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July 2016.