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Ride London 2016 Classic race report: Boonen wins in bunch sprint

Tom Boonen at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016

Tom Boonen at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016, by JGH Jähnick, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Tom Boonen of Etixx Quick-Step won the RideLondon 2016 Classic in a bunch sprint on The Mall - see the BBC report and video.

Earlier, the peloton was held up, after two accidents during the amateur RideLondon-Surrey sportive. When the race got going again, Geraint Thomas attacked, and he and Ian Stannard joined up with a breakaway group out front. 

Thomas attacked again on Box Hill, and attempted a solo time trial home from 50km. For a time, it looked as though he might succeed, but the peloton got itself organised to chase, and the Welshman was caught in the final 5km (although the TV pictures had failed by that point, so viewers didn't see the catch). That led to the bunch sprint, in which Boonen was the fastest.

RideLondon 2016

Ride London - Surrey in 2013

RideLondon - Surrey in 2013, by Sludge G, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

RideLondon 2016 takes place on the weekend of Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July. This is the fourth edition of the event, which is a major part of the cycling legacy of the 2012 London Olympics. (The first RideLondon was in 2013, a year after the Olympic Games).

The main events of RideLondon are the amateur RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive, which is followed by a professional race, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, on largely the same course. Both events use much of the 2012 Olympic road race route.

Star riders taking part in the RideLondon Classic include Chris Froome, Michael Matthews, André Greipel, Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, and Adam Blythe (the 2014 winner, and current British road race champion).

There are a number of other events over the weekend, including RideLondon Classique, a women's race on a central London circuit, and FreeCycle, which is a family-friendly, traffic-free ride in the city centre, open to everyone. This is the RideLondon programme for the weekend:

RideLondon 2016 programme: Thursday 28th July 2016

RideLondon 2016: Cycling Show

Excel London

ExCeL, London, by Stephane Farenga, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

The RideLondon cYclIng shOw is at London's ExCeL Convention Centre, at Royal Victoria Dock, close to London City Airport. (I'm joking about the capital letters in Cycling Show, but not in ExCeL.) 

There's a Centre Stage, where there'll be interviews with special guests, and presentations. There are also lots of exhibitors, including bike manufacturers, and representatives of international races.

Entry is free, and the Cycling Show is open from 10am to 8pm on Thursday, 10am to 8pm on Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.

RideLondon 2016 programme: Friday 29th July 2016

RideLondon 2016: Grand Prix

New for 2016, there'll be races at the Lee Valley VeloPark, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They include handcycling races and a Youths Grand Prix on the one-mile road circuit; there's also a Youths BMX Grand Prix on the BMX track; and a Festival Zone, with stunts by Danny MacAskill's Drop and Roll Tour.

BMX track at the Lee Valley VeloPark

BMX track at the Lee Valley VeloPark, by Dan Brown, Licence CC BY 2.0

The Cycling Show at London ExCeL continues on Friday (see Thursday).

RideLondon 2016 programme: Saturday 30th July 2016

RideLondon 2016: FreeCycle

FreeCycle, Ride London

FreeCycle event at RideLondon in 2013, by Sludge G, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

An 8-mile circuit in the centre of London will be closed to traffic on Saturday, so that families and anyone else can ride past Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul's Cathedral, and the Bank of England, from 9am onwards. This is the FreeCycle route:

RideLondon 2016 FreeCycle route map

There are Festival Zones along the route, with entertainment and activities, as well as water, and a bike mechanic.

It's possible, but not compulsory, to register for the FreeCycle ride, either online or at the Cycling Show (see Thursday). One of the doubtful benefits of registering is getting a fluorescent yellow-green bib. Whatever you think about hi-viz in general, surely you shouldn't need to look like a giant highligher pen on a traffic-free ride in the day time. 

RideLondon 2016: RideLondon Classique women's race

Update: Dutch cyclist Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) won the Classique in a sprint finish.

Barbara Guarischi

Winner of last year's RideLondon women's criterium, Barbara Guarischi, by youkeys, Licence CC BY 2.0

The RideLondon Classique is the women's professional road race, at 5pm on Saturday 30th July. It takes place on a 5.5km central London circuit, starting on The Mall, and going via Constitution Hill, Birdcage Walk, Whitehall, The Strand, and Trafalgar Square, before passing under Admiralty Arch to return to The Mall. This is the route of the Classique:

RideLondon 2016 Classique route map

The prize money is the same as for the men's Classic race the next day - and the men's prize money is the best for any one-day race on the World Tour. (The total prize money for each race is €100,000, with the winner taking home €25,000). The RideLondon Classique will be televised on the BBC.

RideLondon 2016: Brompton World Championship

Brompton World Championship in 2008

Brompton World Championship in 2008, by Duncan Hull, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

The 11th Brompton World Championship takes place at 7.15pm on Saturday, and features 575 racers dressed in shirts, suits, and ties. Shorts and skirts are allowed.

Folded Bromptons at the Brompton World Championship

Folded Bromptons at the Brompton World Championship, by Henry & Jane Rios, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

The participants must dash to their bikes and unfold them, then they do 8 laps of a St James's Park circuit. The criterium race ends when the fastest Brompton rider crosses the finish line for the eighth time.

This video shows highlights of the 2015 race:

The Cycling Show continues on Saturday (see Thursday).

RideLondon 2016 programme: Sunday 31st July 2016

RideLondon 2016: RideLondon-Surrey 100

RideLondon-Surrey 100 in 2015

RideLondon-Surrey 100 in 2015, by Surrey County Council News, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

The RideLondon-Surrey 100 is the participation event which is a legacy of the cycling at the London 2012 Olympics.

It starts at 6am at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and follows a 100-mile route out via Richmond Park to Surrey, taking in the ascent of Box Hill, before returning via Wimbledon and Putney to London for the finish on The Mall. The route is broadly the route of the 2012 Olympic road race:

New in 2016, there's also a 46-mile route, which includes the first part and the last part of the 100-mile route. This is for less experienced cyclists, and 16 & 17 year olds (who are not permitted to do the 100-mile event). The route is shown on the Google map above.

The ballot for the 2017 RideLondon-Surrey sportive opens on Monday 8th August 2016!

RideLondon 2016: RideLondon-Surrey Classic

RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2015, Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins on the RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2015, by Surrey County Council News, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

The RideLondon 2016 Classic is the men's professional race, on a similar course to the amateur sportive, and to the 2012 Olympic road race. The professional race is longer than the amateur sportive, and has additional loops; it is shown on the Google map above, and on this pdf map.

The 25 teams have 6 riders each. They start on Horse Guards Road, St James's Park, at 1.30pm. Chris Froome has been confirmed as a starter for Team Sky, along with Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard. Christian Knees, Ben Swift, and Danny van Poppel make up the rest of Sky's contingent. André Greipel, winner of the final stage of the Tour de France 2016 on the Champs-Elysées, will take part, as will 2014 winner Adam Blythe, who rides for Great Britain, along with Dan McLay and Alex Dowsett. Cycling Weekly has a provisional start list.

The winner takes €25,000, the best prize money for a one-day race. The event will be shown live on BBC TV.

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Greipel wins final stage of Tour de France 2016

André Greipel

André Greipel, by Nicola, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

André Greipel finally got a win, on the last stage of the 2016 Tour de France, and Chris Froome confirmed overall victory. Read about Greipel wins Stage 21, Tour de France 2016.

RideLondon 2015

Millenium Wheel & river Thames, London

A report on 2015's RideLondon, with Jean-Pierre Drucker out-foxing Ben Swift, Sep Vanmarcke, and Mike Theunissen to win the Classic, and 70,000 people taking advantage of the closed roads during FreeCycle. Read about RideLondon 2015.

Folded Bromptons at the World Championship RideLondon 100 in 2013RideLondon Classic

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