'Wiggo' Mania Will Hit Wimbledon In August

Sir Bradley is racing in the Prudential RideLondon cycle festival

Sir Bradley Wiggins will join thousands of cyclists racing through Wimbledon on Sunday August 2 as the Prudential RideLondon cycle festival hits town again.

This year an extra 25% more amateur cyclists will take part in the event. They will cycle up Wimbledon Hill Road, and into Wimbledon village, at around the 90th mile stage of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.

The amateur cyclists will be followed by the world's top cyclists, competing in the 200km Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic event.

The Love Wimbledon street party will once again take place on Wimbledon Hill Road with thousands of spectators expected to line the street and cheer the riders up the last climb on the route. 

There'll be displays from the Extreme Wheels BMX team and the chance to try out a range of different bikes and trikes at the CTC Freecycle stand plus live music, face painting, street entertainment and street food. Visit www.lovewimbledon.org to find out more.

When the riders arrive in Wimbledon town centre:

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100: 09.45am-4.50pm

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic: 6pm.

It will be Wiggins' first race on UK roads following his sensational performance at the Olympic velodrome earlier this month, when he set a new UCI World Hour Record of 54.526km.

The winner of the 2012 Tour de France, four-time Olympic gold medallist and six-time track world champion will lead out his newly-formed team WIGGINS.

Twenty-five teams of six riders will contest the 200km race, which this year starts on Horse Guards Parade in St James’s Park and offers the world’s largest prize fund for a one-day race.

Wiggsin said: "It's always fantastic to race on home roads and this race is very special. My team is really looking forward to it. I was amazed how many people were out watching last year in that appalling weather. The whole Prudential RideLondon festival shows how much cycling has grown in this country."

"Every race wants Wiggins," said Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. "He now has rock star status and generates massive excitement wherever he races. We expect hundreds of thousands of spectators to line the route to cheer him on. His team is packed with great athletes likely to feature in the Team Pursuit in the Rio Games next year and they should perform well in a race of this nature."

Mark Cavendish, winner of three high profile races so far in 2015 including the Dubai Tour stage race and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, also will race in the big event. He will ride with his Etixx - Quick-Step team.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), who showed an impressive return to form to win the Grand Prix Cerami in Belgium yesterday (Wednesday), is the latest big name confirmed for the race.

Gilbert, who fractured a tibia in La Fleche Wallonne in April, had been out of competition since abandoning the Tour de Suisse in June. The 33-year-old Belgian sprinted to the line in the one-day GP Cerami, beating Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) and fellow Belgian Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step), who will also ride in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.   Gilbert, a former World Road Race Champion, won two stages of the Giro d’Italia in May, despite his injury and is widely considered one of the best Classics riders in the pro peloton. In his 12 years as a professional cyclist, he has won Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Flèche Wallonne and is a three-time Amstel Gold champion.

Record-breaker Rohan Dennis (AUS), who rode the fastest individual time trial in Tour de France history to win the opening stage of this year’s race on Saturday, will also be racing.

Defending champion Adam Blythe (GBR) with his team Orica-GreenEDGE and world-beating sprinter Andre Greipel (GER) from Lotto-Soudal are among the latest names to be added to the roster. Sheffield-born Blythe proved himself a master tactician in the race last year when he jumped from the back of the leading group of five to win the sprint down The Mall and take the title for NFTO.

This season, the 25-year-old was signed by Orica-GreenEDGE, the first Australian team to have earned World Tour status, and has ridden as lead out man for Caleb Ewan.

Greipel, known as The Gorilla, is one of the world’s great sprinters with an outstanding record in major races including 13 stage victories at Grand Tours: six at the Tour de France, four at the Vuelta a Espana and three at the Giro d’Italia.

Now in its third year, the race (Category 1.HC on the UCI Europe Tour) offers the highest prize money pool of any one-day Classic and will be televised live by BBC Sport with coverage distributed worldwide.

Cavendish said: "I can't wait to ride this year. After only two years, this race is already an event every rider wants to win and you can't beat racing in front of British crowds. After missing out in 2014 I was determined to ride in 2015."

The race will start at Horse Guards Parade in central London before going out through the capital to Kingston upon Thames, Hampton Court and then over the River Thames into Surrey.

After 57km of racing, the first challenge the riders will face is the 2.4km climb of Staple Lane in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The peloton will then race through Dorking before taking the southern approach to the ascent of Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey. There will be a further three circuits (one more than last year) of a loop through Dorking and up a testing 6.7% climb to Ranmore Common.

The riders will then race up the famous zigzags of Box Hill, through Leatherhead, Oxshott and Esher before returning back through Kingston upon Thames. From there the peloton heads towards central London, through Raynes Park, Wimbledon, over Putney Bridge and alongside the River Thames through Chelsea.

The closing stages of the race go through Parliament Square and up Whitehall to the famous 1km to go marker from Trafalgar Square through Admiralty Arch, where the riders will start the final sprint along The Mall towards Buckingham Palace and the finish line.

July 23, 2015