2023 Ford RideLondon Classique stages announced

Full stage details of the 2023 Ford London Classique have been announced, get ready for high speed action this May!

This May some of the world’s best sprinters and one-day specialists from the UCI Women’s WorldTour will line up for three days of racing in the south-east of the UK at the Ford RideLondon Classique. For the second year the first two stages will take the riders through the county of Essex, before the finale in Central London.

RideLondon Classique peloton
Christine Majerus of Team SD Worx (NED) leads the peloton during RideLondon Classique 2022. Photo: Chloe Knott for London Marathon Events

The course design will once again be tempting for fast finishers and classics style riders. Bonus seconds will be available at each finish as well as en-route and should make the fight for General Classification a close-fought one. Last year’s points proved crucial for eventual winner Lorena Wiebes. In addition to the GC, the Sprints, Queen of the Mountains, Best Young Rider and Best British Rider competitions will be up for grabs. 

Stage 1 details

Starting on Friday 26 May from Saffron Walden in the north-west of Essex and is 149.7K. The route skirts the northern border of the county before finishing in the historic city of Colchester, the former Roman capital of England. On the stage are three QoM sprints and two intermediate sprints. Organisers say it takes riders through some of Essex’s most beautiful villages and countryside including Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Scott Sunderland, Ford RideLondon Classique Race Director, said: “This course is constantly up and down, with twists and turns and very little flat sections, before a slightly uphill finish in Colchester. It’s an excellent parcourse for the one-day specialists and strong sprinters.” Stage One starts in King Street, Saffron Walden, at 11:00 GMT. Full stage details here.

Stage 2 details

Saturday May 27 and the race starts and finished in Maldon on Essex’s east coast. The 137.1 kilometre route beads north on largely flat open roads circling the Abberton Reservoir. It then turns on to a seven kilometre circuit which will take them up North Hill three times before the final climb of Market Hill, 500m before the line.

Sunderland said: “The final circuits of Stage Two cover approximately 22K, and include the repeated climb of North Hill. It’s on these circuits that we will see team tactics evolve with the final Queen of the Mountains points of the race up for grabs, as well as the Stage victory.” Stage Two starts in Promenade Park, Maldon, at 11:00 GMT. Full stage details here.

Stage 3 details

Finally we head to London for an eight lap race on some of the most famous streets in central London, starting and finishing on The Mall. The 91K stage will take the riders on a circuit that passes iconic landmarks such as Picadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. 

The peloton ride through Parliament Square past Big Ben. Photo: Bob Martin for London Marathon Events

Last year’s finish was on Victoria Embankment. It was there that Wiebes won the final stage to seal her overall General Classification victory. Sunderland said: “The Mall is one of the most iconic streets in the world so this final stage in central London is one every cyclist will be eager to win. The precious time bonuses available at two sprint points during the stage – at the end of laps three and six – could prove crucial in the hunt for the overall victory.” Stage Three starts on The Mall, London, at 15:30 GMT, full details here.

The Ford RideLondon Classique is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the highest level of professional women’s cycling in the world. It became a three-day stage race for the first time in 2022. The Classique is part of Ford RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, which includes four mass participation events that will take place on Sunday 28 May, the same day as the final stage of the Classique. The events include Ford FreeCycle, a free event for all that takes place on largely the same roads as the final stage of the Classique, and the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30-mile rides. 

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