Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix 2014

Last weekend I had a day in London between destinations. Pity. It was an opportunity to aquaint myself with one of the world’s great cities. By late afternoon my feet ached – I had walked for hours and decided to try a Boris Bike. Well, I couldn’t get the kiosk to work, nor could the crowd around me, so at least I didn’t feel like a total idiot.

So I kept walking. And walked right into a British women’s cycling race circling around The Mall. That explained the helicopter overhead. With only six laps left I found a spot at the barriers 150 meters from the finish line. Two commentators kept up a running banter, large LED screens gave a televised view of the race, and loud music pumped out the requisite techno beats of crowd-swelling music.

A young 19 year old rider led most of the laps, but in the final sprint to the finish the world champion made her move. A Wiggle noise maker had dropped onto the track during the final lap – the wind blew it randomly across the pavement right in the final line of attack. A spectator managed to get it out of harm’s way before the riders rounded the final corner.

Here are a few phone-based photos, taken mostly at random as the peleton flashed past. Lots of blur and no composition. As a random event it was fun, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again. Television coverage is much better than the live event.

4 comments on “Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix 2014”

  1. Chris* wrote:

    Bit of an understatement to call it a random event. Its a two day cycling festival with one of the biggest closed road sportives and men and womens road races that attract some of the biggest riders in the sport......

    [* edit: not 'Chris' of this web site]

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Random as in: might have walked right in to something else, depending on the day of the year, time of day etc.

    Good photos Kern. I suppose people think music adds to the excitement. Even some track events at the London Olympics had music playing. I'm not in favour.

  3. Chris wrote:

    Almost as randomly I saw the winner of the men's Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix last month in Hull as he won the British Cycling National Circuit Race Championship. (It was a bit dark by the end and I only had my little compact camera.)

    blythe

    The Hull crowd wasn't huge and the event wasn't particularly well-advertised, so I think Hull City Council will have to do a bit more if they want to bring it back next year, assuming they are even permitted to do so. The circuit race format is a better way to see some action; there were however many minutes of cycling then 50 laps (if I remember correctly) before the winner was decided. However, I'm still not convinced it's any better than watching a game of, say, rugby league as a spectacle.

    I saw the last few kilometres of Sunday's men's race of television. Agreed it's better to watch on the telly. Especially when it's raining.

  4. Hilary wrote:

    Kern wrote
    Television coverage is much better than the live event.

    As far as actually watching the action is concerned you are undoubtedly right but there is something to be said for being part of the atmosphere and the 'I was there' factor.

    Interesting that, despite living in southern England, the only person I've come across who was there is Canadian! :D

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