Former professional cyclist and 6-time British Cycling Champion, Alex Dowsett has been announced as the Assistant Race Director of the Ford RideLondon Classique. The former world hour record holder will support Race Director Scott Sunderland for the UCI World Tour event, as the world’s best female cyclists take to the streets of Essex and London from Friday 26th May to Sunday 28th May.
Dowsett will feel at home on this year’s route. The roads on the first two stages of the race are ones that he knows well, having been born in Maldon and grown up in Essex. Dowsett, who is also a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, began his cycling career at Maldon and District Cycling Club, the town that will host the second stage of this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique.
Dowsett called time on his career last September following a successful 12 years in the professional peloton, during which he won two stages of the Giro d’Italia and won his six national champion crowns. The Ford RideLondon Classique marks his first step into race directing.
Alex said, “It is a real pleasure to be Assistant Race Director for the Ford RideLondon Classique. This event has made big strides in a short space of time, and it is now an important part of the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar. To see it in my hometown and on the roads I have spent hours training on makes it even more special.
This is a unique opportunity to watch elite women’s cycling in the UK, and the race shows the best of Essex and London. North Essex is beautiful for quiet lanes and rolling roads and the towns are so picturesque, and the exposure of finishing on The Mall is exciting for everyone.
Women’s cycling is growing in popularity in the UK and we should celebrate the riders who have played such a significant role in making that happen. It promises to be a hugely exciting race.”
Dowsett is confident the same community spirit he felt as a young rider in Essex will result in increased participation moving forward.
“There is a real community in Essex for welcoming young cyclists. The county is quite flat, which makes it more enjoyable when cyclists are starting out, and there are vast networks of tiny lanes where you can disappear and stay off the main roads. That is why Ford RideLondon is so popular, as it gives people the chance to enjoy closed roads. I love riding here as I feel part of something bigger and I hope this can continue to inspire people to take part.”
Scott Sunderland, Race Director added, “It is a real coup to secure Alex as Assistant Race Director for the Ford RideLondon Classique. His knowledge of the roads in Essex is second to none, having grown up on these roads and his expertise will be invaluable in making this race day even more personal and memorable, for the riders and the spectators.”
The Ford RideLondon Classique will begin with two stages in Essex on Friday 26th May and Saturday 27th May. Stage One (150km) is from Saffron Walden to Colchester and Stage Two (140km) starts and finishes in Maldon. The final stage (91km) is the iconic finale in central London, starting and finishing on the world-famous and beautiful avenue that is The Mall.