This year's RideLondon sportive is cancelled, organisers have confirmed.

The RideLondon Festical of Cycling and the men's and women's pro races, which were scheduled for the weekend of 15-16 August 2020, have also been called off.

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 is the UK's biggest sportive, attracting 20,000 cyclists to ride through London and the Surrey hills on closed roads.

Until yesterday morning it was hoped the event, now in its eighth year, would be able to go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak. Just two weeks ago, on 5 May, the UCI published its revised race calendar for 2020 with the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic men's race still in place on 16 August.

However, in a statement yesterday, the organisers confirmed that the festival is cancelled. All entrants are to receive a full refund.

"This decision has been taken by London authorities after engagement with partners involved in the planning of the event," explained the organisers.

"For the foreseeable future the primary focus of all partners and stakeholders remains on the complex issues surrounding the response to the pandemic with public health of paramount importance."

While some sportives, like La Marmotte and L'Etape du Tour, have looked to reschedule rather than cancel their events, the scale and logistics of RideLondon mean the organisers were unable to find another weekend.

Some cancelled events have allowed riders to transfer entry to 2021, but RideLondon say this is not possible with next year's event format under review:

"With the current unknowns about the short-term future for mass participation events and the importance of inspiring as many people as possible to cycle more often, all stakeholders are taking the opportunity over the next few months to fully review the format of the event. It is therefore not possible to defer any places, even if you have already withdrawn from the 2020 event."

Commiserations all round: this year's RideLondon is cancelled.
Commiserations all round: this year's RideLondon is cancelled.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, said: "We know how disappointing this news will be to the tens of thousands of riders who were hoping to participate in one of the fantastic events in the world's greatest festival of cycling, for the thousands of charities that would have benefited from fundraising and for the world's best professional cyclists who love racing on the streets of London and Surrey, but I am sure everyone will understand why this decision has been made.

"All participants and charities that bought places in the 2020 Prudential RideLondon will be refunded their entry fee in full.

"We are currently working with Prudential and the Mayor's Office to see how we can celebrate the event weekend of 15 and 16 August.

"2021 will be the first year of a new contract to deliver RideLondon and, with the current unknowns about the short-term future for mass participation events and the importance of inspiring as many people as possible to cycle more often, we're taking the opportunity to fully review the format and timing of the event over the next few months."

In its first seven editions, Prudential RideLondon has become one of the world's greatest festivals of cycling, with 100,000 riders of all ages and abilities participating in seven different events on traffic-free roads in London and Surrey. It has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to take up cycling or cycle more often and a total of more than £77 million has been raised for thousands of charities.

Brasher added: "We know that there will be many, many questions from riders, charities and others and we ask you to please bear with us as we work through all the detail. We expect to be in a position to provide full updates to participants and charities by the middle of June. We will also post regular updates on our website and social media channels."

Will Norman, the Mayor's Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: "RideLondon has been one of the highlights of the capital's event calendar for the last seven years, so it is obviously disappointing that it cannot be staged this year. This summer we hope that millions of Londoners will alter their travel habits by making journeys by bike instead of driving or using public transport. But it is absolutely the right decision to cancel this year's event to ensure the safety of everyone involved and we all look forward to welcoming RideLondon back again in the near future.

"The Mayor and I would like to thank Prudential, in their final year as title sponsors, for their support over the last seven years. We are already excited about the next RideLondon event."

An event FAQs section has been set up on the RideLondon website with anwers to many questions entrants may have.