Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-QuickStep team will lead the line-up at this year’s Prudential RideLondon. The Manxman has confirmed that he will make Cavendish’s first appearance at the race. Cavendish won the pre-cursor to the event, the London-Surrey Classics in 2011, and was set to ride last season before he crashed out of the Tour de France – dislocating his AC joint.
“I can’t wait to ride this year. After only two years, this race is already an event every rider wants to win and you can’t beat racing in front of British crowds. After missing out in 2014 I was determined to ride in 2015,” Cavendish said.
The race takes place the Sunday after the Tour de France and will return as a 1.HC classified event, following its promotion to that category last season. Adam Blythe won the 2014 edition after getting into the early break. He beat Team Sky’s Ben Swift in the reduced sprint, a win that saw him move back to the WorldTour with Orica-GreenEdge this season.
A total of 25 teams will take part in the race, which announced that it will offer the biggest prize pot for a one-day classic with 100,000 euros for the race winner. The 200-kilometre race will start and finish on the Mall, beginning at Horse Guards Parade before heading out through Kingston upon Thames and onto the Surrey hills. The riders will complete the southern loop once, taking in Leith Hill, before tackling the northern loop and Ranmore Common three times – once more than last year. Box Hill still lies ahead of the peloton, ready to make the final selection.
From Box Hill, the race winds its way back towards Kingston upon Thames and through central London into Trafalgar Square, before the iconic finish on the Mall.
“We’re delighted to have Mark Cavendish in this year’s field. He’s not just a great sprinter but he’s also a very good climber on this type of terrain and this route should suit him very well,” said race director Mick Bennett.
“The extra circuit of the climb to Ranmore Common that we’ve added to the route this year brings a whole new dimension to a great race. That’s where Team Sky and BMC shook up the race last year and I’m sure teams will do the same again this year. We are set for something very special on 2 August.”
In addition to the RideLondon FreeCycle, the RideLondon Grand Prix, the RideLondon-Surrey 100, the RideLondon Handcycle Classic and the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the weekend will also play host to the 10th running of the Brompton World Championships. The race is open to all but participation has been limited to just 575 riders, and begins with a Le Mans style start on the Mall where the riders must unfold their bikes before setting off.