CHARDSTOCK cyclist Rowan Ellis was proud to race against some of the best youth riders in the country after competing at the Prudential RideLondon 2016 Grand Prix.

Now in its fourth year, Prudential RideLondon is a three-day festival of cycling that sees thousands of riders take to the streets of the capital, as well as some of the biggest names in the sport.

For the first time in RideLondon history, there were races taking place on a third day, with Ellis among many taking to the Lee Valley VeloPark at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday.

Ellis was selected to ride for London for Friday’s Youth Grand Prix A race, finishing 31st after a frantic bunch sprint at the end of the race.

But the 14-year-old 1st Chard Wheeler was pleased with his efforts, and hopes the RideLondon experience can be a stepping stone for future success.

"It’s always fun in a race like this, having the support of the crowd is fantastic,” said the Colyton Grammar School pupil.

“It’s great to be able to ride in Prudential, because you have to qualify makes it an extra special feeling, riding against the best around really spurs you on, and I’m desperate to come back next year.

"Being at the Olympic Park is really inspirational, it’s where so many gold medals were won and the legacy is still going.”

As well as hundreds of pro cyclists, RideLondon also attracts thousands of amateurs who take to the roads in the annual London-Surrey 100 and FreeCycle events, while the London-Surrey 46 was introduced for the first time this year.

Ellis said he enjoyed the race but that the pace of his competitors made it difficult to launch a race-winning attack.

"The track was damp at the start which made things difficult, but right from the off it was full blast, everyone was trying to move on and the pace was incredible,” he added.

"It got even faster as it went on, people were trying to pull ahead, and by the time it got to the sprint it went at a speed that I didn’t even realise it would be.

"I tried to attack but by the end I was just cooked.

"I’ve got the National Track Championships next week too, so this will provide the perfect preparation for that. I’ll be racing against all the best in the country there, you want to race against the best, and while it’s really competitive it’s really friendly too which makes it so much more fun.

  •  Prudential RideLondon is the world’s largest festival of cycling. Prudential is proud to support people’s ambitions. Visit