The start and finish venues for the 2024 Ford RideLondon Classique, part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, have been confirmed. Essex will once again host the opening two stages, before an iconic finish in London on the third and final day. The event, held from Friday 24th May to Sunday 26th May 2024, will see the race return to three familiar locations. An extended partnership with Essex County Council will also ensure the Ford RideLondon Classique has two stages based in Essex until 2026.
Stage One on Friday 24th May will begin in the medieval market town of Saffron Walden in north-west Essex and finish in the historic city of Colchester, the first capital of Roman Britain. The stage was won in 2023 by overall race winner Charlotte Kool (Team DSM, now Team dsm-firmenich) who sprinted to victory on the city’s East Hill.
The historic market town of Maldon on the Blackwater estuary on the east coast of Essex will, for the third consecutive year, welcome the race for Stage Two on Saturday 25th May. Maldon hosted a thrilling stage in 2023, when American Chloé Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing) took the first European road race victory of her career on a highly animated day in the saddle.
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The race will build to a showpiece Stage Three in central London, which is an iconic stage targeted by the world’s best sprinters. Dutchwoman Kool secured the overall Leader’s Jersey and her second win of the race on The Mall in 2023.
Scott Sunderland, Ford RideLondon Classique Race Director, said, “The Ford RideLondon Classique is growing in stature every year and much of that is down to the exciting and dynamic racing that is offered on the roads of Essex and London and the incredible atmosphere that is generated on the roadside. We are delighted to be returning to Saffron Walden, Colchester and Maldon in 2024, as well as our traditional spectacular stage in central London, as we continue to build a cycling legacy in Essex and the capital.”
Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning a Growing Economy, added, “We are really excited to see the Ford RideLondon Classique return to Essex for the next three years. The event is one of the most prestigious women’s road races in the cycling calendar, featuring some of best riders from across the world. It is a great event for the whole family to enjoy and really helps to put Essex on the map.”
“We are excited the district will once again host the start of the Ford RideLondon Classique Stage One next year,” said Councillor Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council. “The event brings spectators and competitors from far and wide and allows us to showcase our beautiful area. We look forward to another successful event.”
Councillor Michelle Burrows, Colchester City Council’s portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, added, “Colchester is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a flourishing modern city, evident by the growing roster of regional and national events we now host. While our heritage remains an integral part of our identity, we are equally committed to promoting sustainable tourism and encouraging both residents and visitors to explore our city on bicycles. We have made significant investments in cyclist-friendly infrastructure, including a cutting-edge cycle track and the provision of more than 700 free bicycles for our residents. Additionally, we have established a central bike hub for convenient bicycle rentals. Our dedication to cycling culminates with our excitement in again hosting top-tier cyclists from around the world crossing the finish line in the Ford RideLondon Classique. This event truly is the icing on the cake for Colchester’s journey towards becoming a premier cycling destination.”
Councillor Richard Siddall, Leader of Maldon District Council, concluded, “I am delighted that the prestigious Ford RideLondon Classique race will once again be returning to our district on Saturday 25th May. I really hope that residents will turn out in force to support this wonderful spectacle and cheer on the world’s best female cyclists, as they race through and around the area and reach the finish Line in Maldon.”
The full route details of the three stages will be confirmed shortly.
The Ford RideLondon Classique is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the highest level of professional women’s cycling in the world. The Classique became a three-day stage race for the first time in 2022 and is part of Ford RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, which includes four mass participation events that will take place on Sunday 26th May, the same day as the final stage of the Classique. In July 2023, it was confirmed that Essex County Council had extended its partnership with Ford RideLondon-Essex and will continue to host the Ford RideLondon-Essex-100, 60 and 30-mile challenge rides and two stages of the Ford RideLondon Classique until 2026. The events include Ford RideLondon FreeCycle, a free event for everyone 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 challenge rides.