Full routes revealed for three-day RideLondon Classique

The RideLondon Classique event in 2019

The RideLondon Classique event in 2019 - Credit: RideLondon Classique

The RideLondon Classique women's cycling race is returning next month in a new three-day format, with the first two stages taking place in Essex.

Part of cycling festival RideLondon, the Classique has traditionally been a one-day race in the centre of London, but has been extended for 2022 following a partnership with Essex County Council.

Stage one will take place on Friday, May 27, and will be a 137.1km race starting and finishing at Maldon. It will feature two laps of the Abberton Reservoir on the outskirts of Colchester and pass Tiptree, before finishing with two circuits around Maldon.

The best place to watch stage one is Promenade Park in Maldon to see the 11am start, or on Maldon's High Street or Market Hill to watch the finale.

Stage two, on Saturday, May 28, will start in Chelmsford and end up in Epping, via Finchingfield and Great Dunmow. The race lasts for 141km and culminates in three circuits around Epping Forest. The final circuits will be punctuated by short, sharp climbs to create a thrilling finale.

RideLondon race director Scott Sunderland said: "It’s another very fast stage of narrow roads and rolling hills. This stage will be suited to the climbers, especially the final circuit in and around Epping.

"It’s going to be quite a different experience to Stage One and a great prelude to the final stage in London.”

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The best place to watch stage two will be at the starting point at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, at Finchingfield to watch riders pass on the route, or at Epping High Street for a roadside view of the finish.

Stage three, on Sunday, May 29,  is an 853km multi-lap circuit race in the centre of London. It will start and finish on Victoria Embankment beside the River Thames. The circuit includes some of London's most famous streets, including Piccadilly, Pall Mall and the Strand.

The best place to watch stage three is anywhere along the city centre route.

The Classique is just one element of RideLondon 2022, with an estimated 25,000 people expected to take part in the RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30, and thousands more in the RideLondon FreeCycle in central London.

For more information visit https://www.ridelondon.co.uk/