2023 Ford RideLondon Classique News

2023 Ford RideLondon Classique News

The teams are ready and the route is finalised. Last minute news of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique.

In previous articles we’ve gone over the teams and route, but there’s still some last-minute bits of news coming out from the Ford RideLondon Classique. The first is about one of the Uk’s top riders making her comeback at this year’s edition. We’ll also cover the live coverage of all three stages on the BBC. We have some news of the 100,000 euro priz pot and how it will be shared. And finally, one of the teams is giving you the chance to get to know their riders better.

Lizzie Deignan returns to racing on UK roads at the Ford RideLondon Classique

Former World Road Race Champion and four-time British Road Race Champion Lizzie Deignan will be riding the Ford RideLondon Classique: and she’s looking for a win. Deignan made her comeback to competitive action last month after the birth of her second child last year. This will be her first appearance at the Ford RideLondon Classique and she’s coming as part of a strong Trek-Segafredo team. The team includes reigning Italian champion and the runner-up in last year’s Classique, Elisa Balsamo (ITA).

Photo credit: Sean Hardy

After playing a support role for her team during the early season Ardennes races and La Vuelta Femenina, she said she is feeling stronger. Deignan went on to say: “I am really excited about racing in the Ford RideLondon Classique, it is probably the first race [since returning] where I feel like I’ll be able to be in the mix, and it won’t be about just surviving.

“My form has come on a lot in recent weeks and the course suits my style. However, while you can be flying in training there is no replication for racing. You need to suffer on the bike, and I am so happy to have found my finesse and race rhythm so quickly.

Photo credit: Sean Hardy

“We are coming for the win”!

“Trek-Segafredo has a strong team, and we are coming for the win. The team has been designed to challenge to win this race and there are chances to do something. Stage Two suits me the best as it is the most dynamic and offers breakaway opportunities.

“I am excited to be back in a race where it’s not just the physical strength of the rider but the tactical strength of the team.”

Talking about the current crop of British riders racing at UCI Women’s WorldTour level, she praised their strength. Riders like Pfeiffer Georgi, former National Road Race Champion and winner of this year’s Classic Brugge-De Panne, Anna Henderson, former National Road Race Time-Trial Champion and winner of the 2022 RideLondon Classique’s Ford Queen of the Mountain jersey, Alice Towers, the current National Road Race Champion, and Deignan’s team-mate Elynor Backstedt. All of whom will be present for this year’s edition.

BBC to show all three stages live

BBC coverage of the Ford RideLondon Classique will comprise: 

  • 13:15 Friday 26 May (BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online): live coverage of Stage One (Saffron Walden to Colchester) 
  • 13:00 Saturday 27 May (BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online): live coverage of Stage Two (Maldon to Maldon) 
  • 15:00 Sunday 28 May (BBC2): live coverage of Stage Three (Central London) plus highlights of FreeCycle and Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30 mass participation events  

The BBC has been host broadcaster of RideLondon since its edition in 2013. The event, is the most successful legacy event from the 2012 London Olympic Games. It’s had more than 500,000 participants take part since 2013. That includes more than 150,000 new or lapsed cyclists. It has also raised more than £83 million for charity.

Photo: Chloe Knott

Prize money

In total, nineteen teams will be competing in the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique including nine UCI Women’s WorldTour teams and UCI Women’s Continental Teams. For a second year in a row, the prize money for the Classique will be split. 40,000 euros of the overall race fund of 100,000 euros will be shared evenly among the nineteen competing teams. The remaining 60,000 euros is available in prize money. This re-structuring of the prize pot was made after consultation with the teams and with an aim of giving professional women’s cycling stronger foundations going forward.

Get to know the team

DAS-Handsling are one of the UCI Continental teams taking part in the Classique. They will be holding a breakfast buffet on stage one at Bicicletta in Saffron Walden. There you can meet the riders, watch the roll-out and stay to watch the first sprint as the race loops out and back through Saffron Walden: you’ll be ring-side! And to help you spot the riders in the bunch, the team will be handing out rider cards on each stage: see if you can get a signature from all of their riders!

DAS-Handsling rider Monica Greenwood could be one to watch during the race. With victories in Belgium and the UK and currently leading the British Cycling Women’s Road Race Series, she’s on form. Read about how Monica has swapped coaching for racing after a successful career as a GB Olympic track coach on the Handsling blog.

Take part

And don’t forget if after watching the race you fancy emulating your new heroes, the Ford Ride London-Essex rides are happening this weekend. While entries for the 100, 60 and 30 mile rides are now closed, you can still ride the Ford RideLondon-FreeCycle. This takes place on Sunday 28th May and will take riders past famous London landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Somerset House, Buckingham Palace and The Mall. There will aslo be two Festival Zones, located at Bank and St Paul’s, where riders can stop for mechanical help, food and drink and enjoy activities such as music, games and face painting! 

Paul Horta-Hopkins

Paul Horta-Hopkins

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