First held in 2013 to build on the success of the London 2012 Olympics, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive has established itself as one of the best mass-participation cycling events in the world. This is thanks in part to shutting down large swathes of central London so riders can enjoy pedalling past iconic buildings without dodging black cabs and the like.
The event is also part of the London Classics: finish this 100-mile ride, plus the London Marathon and the two-mile event at Swim Serpentine, and you’ll earn a special medal. And who doesn’t want a special medal? That’s just one more reason why the RideLondon-Surry 100 is hugely oversubscribed every year, so to have a chance of cycling the event you have to enter a ballot.
RideLondon will take place over the weekend of the 15th-16th August in 2020, with the 100-mile sportive falling on Sunday 16th August. The ballot for entry into the 100-miler opened on race day 2019 and will remain open until Friday 3rd January 2020 or until 80,000 entries have been received. With it being such a popular race, we’d bet on the latter coming first, so don’t count on being able to pop your entry in late 2019 or very early 2020, because you could well find the ballot has shut. Instead, head to prudentialridelondon.co.uk right now and sign up for your shot to ride this incredible event.
Entry to the 100-mile ballot event costs £79, a £10 increase on the £69 it cost to enter 2019’s race. If you are unsuccessful in the main ballot you can choose to donate the £79 to charity. Aside from being very generous on your part, doing so gives you a second chance at getting a spot in the sportive. Last year a further 1,000 places were given to people who donated their fee but didn’t get a place in the original ballot. These were chosen via another, smaller ballot.
If you enter the ballot you’ll be told in February 2020 whether or not you have secured a place in the event. Should you be successful but realise that you’re not actually all that keen to ride the 100 miles that year, you can defer your entry to 2021. You only get one chance to defer entry though, you can’t keep kicking the can down the road indefinitely. If you fail to secure a place in the 100-mile event via the ballot, there remains the option to ride for a charity. There are listings for all the charities that have places in the RideLondon sportives on the event website.
Another possibility if you are unsuccessful in the 100-mile race ballot is to try and get a spot in the shorter 46-mile (74km) event. The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 takes place on the same day as the 100-mile ride and follows the same route for the first 27 miles of the course, before splitting off on a separate two-mile section leading onto the final 17 miles of the 100-mile route, including the grandstand finish on The Mall.
Although not quite as popular as the 100-mile sportive, RideLondon-Surrey 46 is still oversubscribed and you will also have to enter a ballot to have a chance of riding in it. In 2019 that ballot ran in early May, with winners informed shortly afterwards. Entry to the ballot for the 46-mile ride cost £46 in 2019.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.