Anglia Ruskin University: Chelmsford’s in the saddle for elite RideLondon race

Elite riders will be setting off from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) later this month as the RideLondon Classique cycle race comes to Essex for the first time.

A new partnership with Essex County Council means the race, previously only held in London and Surrey, will this year branch out to the east. It is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, and will take place in three stages from Friday, 27 May until Sunday, 29 May. Due to the pandemic, the event has not been held since 2019 and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

ARU’s Chelmsford campus will provide the starting base for stage two of the race on Saturday, 28 May, which will see riders set off through Chelmsford, before heading north towards Dunmow and Finchingfield before finishing in Epping Forest.

Among the world-class cyclists taking part will be Elisa Balsamo (cycling for team Trek-Segafredo), who will wear the rainbow bands of the world champion at the start of the three-day event, which will take place in Maldon on 27 May. She will be joined at the start line by previous RideLondon Classique winners including Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM), who won the 2019 event, Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team) and Coryn Labecki (Team Jumbo-Visma). All of the world’s top 10-ranked teams will be competing in the race.

There will be a host of bike-themed events and activities throughout the day at ARU on Saturday, 28 May, organised by Chelmsford City Council, for anyone who wants to come and cheer on their favourite cyclists. Organisations including Chelmsford Cycling Club, Chelmsford Tri Club, Radical Bikes and Cycling UK will put on displays, activities and promotional activities. The event is free to attend.

The café in ARU’s Lord Ashcroft Building will be open from 8am until 2pm to provide refreshments, snacks and lunch.

Chelmsford City Council is encouraging visitors to walk or cycle to the event and they can join the ride from Bell Meadow to ARU. For those that need to drive by car, there will be no public car parking at ARU, but there is a public car park on the adjacent Rectory Lane.

Rachel Moss, Public Engagement Officer for Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“We are incredibly excited to be hosting the start of a stage of the RideLondon Classique, and it is a great honour to be welcoming some of the world’s leading cyclists.

“We know that people will want to come and see them race, so we’ll be putting on a host of activities on campus throughout the day. If you love bikes and cycling, there will be something for you.”

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