Thousands of cyclists and supporters take over town centre for RideLondon festival

Cyclists ride along Wimbledon Hill Road as they head towards the finish in The Mall.

Cyclists ride along Wimbledon Hill Road as they head towards the finish in The Mall.

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Thousands of cyclists and supporters took over the streets of Raynes Park and Wimbledon yesterday as riders raced towards the finish line of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey cycle challenge.

Faced with heavy rain and wind from the tail end of Hurricane Bertha , organisers shortened the 100-mile course to 86 miles, missing out Leith Hill and Box Hill in Surrey.

But the Merton section, running from Coombe Lane in Raynes Park to Wimbledon Village via Wimbledon Hill Road was not altered and large crowds gathered to watch the riders and attend street parties, despite occasional torrential rain.

Raynes Park couple Gary Watson and Lisa Russell, who took a breather to wed at Richmond Park's Pembroke Lodge in the middle of the race, were among more than 20,000 amateur cyclists participating in the event.

This Is Local London:

Newlyweds: Lisa Russell and Gary Watson

Noelle Simmons, who has so far raised £45 for the Mayor of Merton's charities Shooting Star Chase and Merton Street Pastors, kept her spirits high as she cycled through the wind-swept streets of Wimbledon.

A street party with a steel band, face-painting, balloon modelling and bicycle-themed entertainment was hosted by Love Wimbledon business improvement district (BID) and local businesses in Wimbledon Hill Road.

Helen Clark-Bell, BID manager, said: "It went very well from our perspective aside from the weather. We had a really good community feel with the street party. We were there from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night." 

This Is Local London:

Cheering on the cyclists in Wimbledon: L-R Tamara Khayat, Ann Claire Herr and Andrea Herr.

Raynes Park Community Church (RPCC) also hosted live music and children's activities at a street party in Worple Road.

This Is Local London:

Music and dancing at Raynes Park Community Church street party 

Jill Grinsted, RPCC administrator, said: "It was really good. We were there nine hours. The atmosphere was amazing, so many people came to cheer on the cyclists and everyone was dancing."

This Is Local London:

Nearly there: Noelle Simmons stops off for a breather in Wimbledon as she approaches the finish

Prudential RideLondon was developed by the Mayor of London, Transport for London and London and Partners in partnership with Surrey County Council.

The event was managed by the London and Surrey Cycling Partnership and sponsored by Prudential.

Did you take part in RideLondon or enjoy a street party? Send your pictures and comments to louisa.clarence@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree