Sky’s Bradley Wiggins will race on British roads this weekend, as the 2012 Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic gold medalist races in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for the first time.
Wiggins is a late addition to the Sky lineup for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday, part of the Mayor of London’s award-winning festival of cycling. He will be the first former Tour de France winner to ride in the event.
The race will see Wiggins return to the roads used for the time trial and road race events in London 2012, where he won Olympic time trial gold. It will be only his second appearance racing in London since the Games, having won the overall at the Tour of Britain on his previous visit to the city’s streets last September.
After his absence from the 2014 Tour de France, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be Wiggins’ first road-racing appearance since he won the British national time trial championship in June.
Since then, the four-time Olympic gold medalist has been in action on the track for Team England at the Commonwealth Games, winning silver in the Team Pursuit.
“We are delighted to welcome Sir Bradley to Prudential RideLondon this weekend,” said Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic Race Director Mick Bennett. “He completes an already first-class lineup for the event. The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic enjoys great support from spectators at the roadside across the route and this announcement means fans can now look forward to seeing one of the greatest ever British cyclists racing in the event.”
Lining up alongside Wiggins will be 2012 world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), 2014 Tour de France top-10 finisher Laurens ten Dam (Belkin), Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Elia Viviani (Cannondale), and several Commonwealth Games medalists, led by points race gold medalist Tom Scully and road race bronze medalist Scott Thwaites.
Wiggins enjoyed a memorable 2012, becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de France before claiming Olympic gold on the roads of London and Surrey, rounding out the year by being voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year and becoming the first Briton to win the prestigious international Velo d’Or award, for best rider of the year.
Held for the first time in 2013, Prudential RideLondon immediately set new records as it became the largest inaugural mass-participation event in the world with 66,000+ participants and raised more than 7 million pounds for charity, making it the largest charity cycling event in the UK. An unprecedented 99 percent of participants rated the event good or excellent and the festival has won seven national awards.
Vos, Armitstead highlight women’s field
Two years on from their memorable battle during the Olympic Games in London, world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv) and current UCI World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) return to The Mall in the Prudential RideLondon Women’s Grand Prix on Saturday.
Vos, winner of the inaugural Women’s Tour in May, returns to Britain with her Rabo Liv team to headline a star-studded entry for the criterium race.
“I am very much looking forward to the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix,” said Vos. “I haven’t been back to London since 2012 so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and racing on the roads of London. It’s also a good showcase for women’s cycling, especially with the coverage on the BBC. It’s a stage to show women’s cycling to all of the people in the UK.”
Joining her on the central London start line at 5 p.m. local time will be Boels Dolmans rider Lizzie Armitstead, whose silver behind Vos at London 2012 was Team GB’s first medal of the Games.
“I’m really looking forward to taking part in this year’s Prudential RideLondon and am particularly excited about racing on The Mall again for the first time since 2012,” said Armitstead. “It’s always going to have special memories for me after winning my Olympic silver there in 2012 and the crowds in London are always special. This year we’ve got so many great races, like the Women’s Tour and La Course, and now with live television coverage for the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix it shows that women’s cycling is only going to get bigger and bigger.”
Double Olympic champion Laura Trott (Wiggle Honda), who won her first British title on the road last month at the National Championships, returns to defend the title she won last year, just a week after competing in the Commonwealth Games. Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare), runner-up to Trott in 2013, is also back to chase a place on the podium.
The quartet are among the 80-rider field that will battle it out during the 45-minute race around the 1.3mile route in and around St James’s Park, finishing on The Mall where Vos beat Armitstead for gold in the 2012 Olympic Games Road Race.
The U.S.-based Specialized-lululemon team will also compete, taking on the very best of the British domestic scene, includes entries from Matrix Fitness-Vulpine, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, Team MuleBar Girl-Sigma Sport and Starley Primal, with newly crowned national criterium champion Eileen Roe.