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RideLondon: Surrey County Council plans to withdraw support

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image captionSurrey County Council is recommended to opt out of hosting the RideLondon 100-mile sportive

Plans for a council to withdraw its support for a major cycling race have been described by organisers as "surprising and disappointing".

The RideLondon 100-mile sportive was cancelled this year due to coronavirus and a scaled down version is scheduled for 2021.

Under the Surrey County Council proposals the area would not host the race beyond next year.

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

The council's cabinet for communities is due to meet on Tuesday, with officers recommending they support the move.

RideLondon, which claims to be the world's greatest festival of cycling, is a 100-mile, closed-road event which takes in streets in the capital and travels through Surrey.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the news was "surprising and disappointing".

A public consultation process earlier this year "resulted in a 'small but significant majority' in favour of RideLondon taking place in the county", he said.

'Exhausted all options'

Mr Brasher added: "Events the size and scale of RideLondon are founded once every generation and uniquely this event cost the county nothing.

"The huge tangible and intangible benefits of the event will be lost to Surrey by rejecting what future generations will acknowledge as 'The London Marathon' of cycling."

Councillor Denise Turner-Stewart, cabinet member for communities, said: "We are committed to encouraging cleaner, greener travel and recognise the health and well-being benefits from all kinds of sport including walking and cycling.

"We are actively seeking new opportunities within Surrey to encourage all sorts of people to get out and about on their bikes.

"The recommendations in the paper were not easy to make, and we held off making this decision until we had exhausted all available options to try to make the event work for our residents."

Related Topics

  • Surrey County Council
  • Cycling