Financial Times London Cycle Sportive
Team Sky’s Ben Swift is not riding the Tour de France this year so whilst the 100th edition got underway in Corsica, he joined close to 2,500 riders in South London for the Financial Times London Cycle Sportive supporting Access Sport.
Ben Swift said, “It was an amazing sight to see so many cyclists at the start line, it just shows how popular sportive riding has become when a first year event can attract so many riders. I cycled with my dad and we really enjoyed it; the route was really scenic and there were a few tough climbs thrown in, which was great for my training.”
He continued, “I joined the team at the finish line handing out medals and managed to speak to the riders as they crossed the line; so many of them said that finishing with the lap of the velodrome was a real highlight. It’s not something many people have had the chance to experience and with the crowds cheering them on they could have been at track champs!”
The sportive starts in Dulwich Park and offers 50km, 100km and 100mile distances. The route goes through South London and Crystal Palace, along the edge of the North Downs, passing the top of the famous climb routes at ‘Titsey Hill’ before plunging down Tandridge Hill. A maze of quiet Surrey lanes takes you to the South of Reigate for before some challenging climbing up ‘Pitch Hill’. After climbing Combe Bottom and White Down to Ranmore Common, then down to West Humble before the iconic Box Hill, before heading back to the infamous Herne Hill Velodrome for their finishing lap.
FT Deputy CEO Ben Hughes said: “We’re delighted to have supported the first FT London Cycle Sportive in partnership with Human Race. As well as readers and corporate partners, a team of FT staff took part in this unique sporting opportunity. It’s one of several employee initiatives we’re holding to celebrate the FT’s 125 years as one of the world’s leading business news organisations.”
Access Sport CEO Mark Hardie said: “For our charity the Financial Times London Cycle Sportive has been a real success. As well as raising awareness we have been able to raise vital funds, which will help us transform more young lives. On the day, we had a team of over 200 riders supporting the charity along with keen volunteers lining the course. With Ambassadors such as Ben Swift endorsing the event, we hope to also educate more people about our important work within London’s communities”.
See our interview with Ben Swift.