Event ambassador and professional cyclist, Ben Swift, has revealed the route of the Financial Times London Cycle Sportive in partnership with Access Sport, which takes place on 11 May. The route maintains many of the highlights from last year’s course including the picturesque Surrey Hills, infamous Box Hill climb and the Olympic Velodrome at Herne Hill.
Crucially a slightly altered route back into London has been implemented, avoiding the potentially congested Croydon area – with the aim of providing an even more enjoyable experience for participants.
Organised by Human Race, the sportive offers three routes of varying difficulties, with distances of approximately 50K, 100K and 100 miles. Each option begins in Dulwich and ends with a unique finish that includes a lap of the track at the famous Herne Hill Velodrome, scene of the 1948 Olympic track cycling events, with all cyclists receiving times for their ride and a lap of the velodrome itself.
Participants on the longer two routes will also have their time for climbing the iconic Box Hill recorded.
“I am really looking forward to tackling this sportive again this year,” Ben Swift said. “One of the best aspects of last year’s event was the range of routes on offer, meaning riders of all standards could take part. All of the routes are particularly impressive but, as many riders found last year, the longer routes are not for the faint hearted, so put in the hours on the road before the event!”
Riders set off from Dulwich Park and leave London via a fast descent. All three routes then skirt the edge of the North Downs, including Biggin Hill offering amazing views over the surrounding countryside. Here is where the shorter ride completes a small loop before heading up towards the velodrome and the finish.
The longer routes continue their climb along the North Downs ridge before plunging down Tandridge Hill. The medium route then heads towards foot of the iconic Box Hill, used in the 2012 Olympic road race. After taking in the quiet Surrey lanes and a couple of climbs, the long route rejoins the medium route at Box Hill.
It is only a short while later that cyclists enter the Herne Hill Velodrome for their timed lap finish. “This was a real highlight for all the riders last year,” added Swift. “With the crowds cheering them on they could have been at a real track champs! There is sure to be a great atmosphere afterwards as supporters gather in the event village in the centre of the track, making this London sportive stand out from all the rest.”
To encourage safe cycling, medium and long route riders will have a time taken on the Chipstead Valley Road before the more urban finish through South London to discourage any instances of poor and dangerous cycling in the more built up areas between there and the Finish.
The FT London Cycle Sportive is part of the Human Race Sportive Series. Participants can combine the event in a special discount bundle with either the Wiggle Etape Cymru, ‘the UK’s toughest closed road sportive’, or the Chiltern 100, new to Human Race’s sportive calendar this year. Alternatively they can combine all three for an extra discount.
Some of the riders in the sportive will be taking part in support of Access Sport, including riders from the Financial Times and Conway, who helped to raise a significant amount of money for the charity last year.
Human Race is ‘the UK’s largest and most diverse mass participation events company’; owning and delivering over 50 events in triathlon, cycling, running, duathlon and open water swimming for over 70,000 participants of all abilities and ages each year. The portfolio of events includes 11 triathlons, nine cycling events, 10 running events, 7 open water swims and 6 kids events.
These events bring together an active community of people taking part in sporting events for reasons ranging from fitness, competition, charity, health, fun or to simply finish. The participants vary from nervous first timers from 4 to 80 through to World Champions. Collectively, the events raise millions of pounds for hundreds of charities.