Covid-19: RideLondon cycling festival cancelled for second year

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image captionThe event usually attracts hundreds of thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities

One of London's biggest cycling events has been cancelled for a second year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The RideLondon 100-mile sportive, which attracts thousands of cyclists, was scheduled for May but will now take place virtually.

Event organisers said "extensive road closures" and participant and spectator numbers influenced the move.

The Mayor's office said it was "disappointed", but it added it was the "responsible decision".

Surrey County Council withdrew its support from the festival after it was cancelled for the first time in 2020.

The council said it would focus on "smaller, community-led" cycling events.

Since its launch in 2013, the event has raised more than £80 million for charities, said RideLondon.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the cancellation was "disappointing news", but added the group was working with the Mayor's office to deliver a virtual event in summer and to return in 2022.

Money will be raised for charities whose income has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Brasher added.

The Mayor's walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, said: "We know many Londoners have taken up cycling over the past nine months and we are doing all we can to support this and help avoid the risk of a damaging car-led recovery, including rolling out new cycle lanes across our city."

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