RideLondon Classique has been revamped, transforming into a three-day race that will make its return as part of the Women’s WorldTour in 2022. The event will become the second top-tier stage race held in the UK, set to take place from May 27-29, directly ahead of The Women’s Tour.
RideLondon has been held as a one-day race and was added to the inaugural Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2016. After being billed as a 1.Pro race in 2020, due to conflicting events on the top-tier calendar, it was then cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event was due to return to the Women’s WorldTour this year before the organisers were again forced to call it off.
"The last two editions of the event in 2020 and 2021 could not take place due to the pandemic so we have been working with stakeholders to confirm the new format and routes for 2022," event director Hugh Brasher said.
The one-day event was a race for the sprinters, culminating on the Mall in central London. The first Women's WorldTour edition, in 2016, was won by Kirsten Wild, who also went on to win the 2018 edition. In 2017, Coryn Rivera outsprinted Lotta Henttala (née Lepistö). Wild also crossed the line first in the 2019 edition but was relegated for changing her line and causing a crash, so race officials subsequently awarded the victory to Lorena Wiebes.
No announcement has yet been made by the organisers on the details of the additional two stages of the 2022 RideLondon Classique, but Brasher said: "We are currently working on finalising plans for the return of RideLondon in May 2022.
"We are excited the UCI has accepted our proposal to extend the UCI Women's WorldTour RideLondon Classique from a one-day event to a three-day race, culminating in a final stage in central London on Sunday, May 29. This reinforces our commitment to promote women's cycling which has been a fundamental pillar of RideLondon since its first edition in 2013."
The addition of two more stages to the RideLondon Classique will bring the number of UCI women’s stage races in Britain back to two - along with The Women’s Tour - after the Tour of Yorkshire was cancelled two years in a row and has not been added to the 2022 calendar. In an interview about the Women’s Tour de France, organiser Christian Prudhomme hinted that the Yorkshire Grand Départ legacy race would not return.
In addition to extending the race to three stages, Brasher reiterated RideLondon’s commitment to equality.
"From 2016 to 2019, the RideLondon Classique was the richest one-day race on the women's calendar, paying the exact same prize money as the professional men's race, the RideLondon Classic. So, we are thrilled to develop the event further in 2022 and offer the best women riders in the world the chance to race in a three-day event."
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