RideLondon 2014

For most cyclists wind and rain are not their favourite riding conditions but being cyclists they get on with it all the same. With the threat of a Pythonesque termed 'ex hurricane' Bertha in the mix with the threat of heavy rain the 2014 edition of RideLondon had it all before the event even began.

As spectators not participants, the weather made it difficult to find motivation to get out and support the event. At times the conditions reminded us of recent images witnessed at the Tour of Poland, at least RideLondon organisers had the sense to shorten this event.

However good your kit and clothing are - you're the one who has to get out and ride the bike. Many of the riders we saw some eight or so hours into the ride looked like hollow souls returning from hell, glad to be back but at what cost. All physical and mental ambition had been drained from them.

From Chelsea Bridge embankment we witnessed the 'survivors' making their way along the last 4/5kms. The Grosvenor public house had been taken over for the day by official Prudential cheerers making high volume motivational chapping, waving and general vocal encouragement (even to amazed Boris Bike tourists who were making the most of the empty roads).

An hour after the final riders crossed the finish line, the pros came through courting the familiar cavalcade of support vehicles, police bikes and helicopters but even these riders were strung out in distant batches. Although now bright and sunny, any close-up view from the main peloton showed how hard the conditions had been. Blackened faces reminiscent of Paris Roubaix's of yesteryear further underlined what an epic RideLondon had been.

We're sure that for many the phrase 'never again' had been uttered countless times throughout the day but like the great races of the pro cycling calendar the extreme conditions had highlighted the determination, courage and spirit of those taking part. This said we see next year's event being termed a 'classic'. Well done to the event organisers for shortening not cancelling this event.