Event: 30 June 2013
As part of this year’s Financial Times 125 anniversary celebrations, the FT is inviting readers and corporate teams to take part in the on 30 June. The event is run by Human Race, the UK’s largest and most diverse mass-participation sports company, in partnership with community sports charity Access Sport.
The ride takes place in the capital and will see several thousand cyclists tackle a new 50km, 100km or 160km cycle route taking in many important landmarks from London’s Olympic history including Box Hill, which was made famous by the likes of Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead in the 2012 Olympic road cycling events. Participants will finish the ride with a lap of Herne Hill Velodrome, the venue for the track cycling events at the 1948 London Olympics.
All cyclists are being encouraged to raise vital funds for official charity partner Access Sport whose mission is to give more children, particularly in disadvantaged areas, access to a wide range of local quality sport
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It’s fantastic news that London is hosting another superb cycling event. With The Financial Times London Cycle Sportive featuring the legendary Box Hill, this race could be the perfect training for our RideLondon festival of cycling in August. I hope people from far and wide take up this two wheeled challenge and help to raise money for Access Sport.”
As well as taking part on the day, corporate teams will be invited to take part in an exclusive afternoon at the velodrome with Team Sky cyclist and event ambassador Ben Swift on 18 June. On the day of the sportive corporate teams will be invited to a pre-ride talk from Olympic champion track cyclist and Access Sport ambassador Rebecca Romero. Corporate riders will also start together in private waves and have access to an exclusive FT hospitality tent.
FT Deputy CEO Ben Hughes said: “We’re delighted to partner with Human Race to bring this unique sporting opportunity to our readers, corporate partners and FT staff. It’s one of several initiatives we’re holding to mark the FT’s 125 years as one of the world’s leading business news organisations.”
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Financial Times on board as a title sponsor of the London Cycle Sportive. With thousands of Londoners taking part the sportive is sure to be one of the stand-out cycle events of summer in the Capital.”
All cyclists will receive not only a time for their ride but also a time for their lap of the track at the Velodrome. In addition to this participants on the longer two routes will have their time for climbing Box Hill recorded.
“I am excited to be part of such a great sportive,” event ambassador and Team Sky rider Ben Swift said. “No matter which distance you go for the route is really impressive but not for the faint hearted so make sure that you do enough training to get around the course on the big day.
“Hill reps are a great way of getting fit so I would recommend that cyclists doing the longer two route options find some time to do training on Box Hill so you know what is ahead of you and how best to tackle it.”
Riders leave South London passing by the famous Dulwich College and climb up towards Crystal Palace via College Road. Participants can look forward to a fast descent towards the South Norwood Country Park, leaving London and the leafy suburbs behind. All three routes then skirt along the edge of the North Downs offering amazing views over the surrounding Kent and Surrey countryside which are not to be missed. The shorter ride completes a small loop at this point before returning through South London for the Velodrome finish.
The two longer rides continue along the ridge of the beautiful North Downs. Riders will need to conserve some energy as they pass the top of the famous climb routes at ‘Titsey Hill’ before plunging down Tandridge Hill. After bypassing Godstone on the roman road towards Blindley Heath, the route then turns westwards where participants will notice the Outwood Windmill along the way before the route meanders below Reigate in the shadow of the North Downs.
The medium route then turns in a North Westerly direction towards Brockham and joins the A25 just before Dorking. Cyclists will then take a fast right onto the cycle path adjacent to the A24 before tackling the iconic Box Hill which was used in the 2012 Olympic road race.
The longer route takes in the maze of quiet Surrey lanes to the South of Reigate for some gentle respite before the climbing really begins up Pitch Hill through Hurt Wood and on towards Shere. There will feed stations along the route where riders can avail of energy food and Vita Coco Coconut water along the route at various points.
The route heads in a northerly direction climbing Combe Bottom towards Ockham prior to the turn South to Effingham and the gentler climb of White Down to Ranmore Common high above Dorking. Participants on the longer route will then take a quick left and swoop down to West Humble before also joining the iconic Box Hill and rejoining the medium route.
Both the longer routes then return to South London via Banstead Heath and drop down through Chipstead Bottom to Coulsdon and pick up the main road through Purley and Croydon, passing Selhurst Park via Crystal Palace before coming back towards Herne Hill Velodrome.
“No matter which distance you go for all riders can look forward to an amazing finish at Herne Hill Velodrome,” Ben said. “There is sure to be a great atmosphere as supporters gather in the event village in the centre of the track, making this London sportive stand out from all the rest.”
For further information on the event go to www.humanrace.co.uk and to follow Ben Swift on Twitter check out @swiftybswift