Cycling legend Stephen Roche, the Triple Crown winner in 1987, will be among the riders taking part in this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.

The Irish great, who was inducted into the Giro d’Italia’s hall of fame this year ahead of the Belfast Grande Partenza, joins 24,000 riders in the sportive – which forms part of the Mayor of London’s festival of cycling on Sunday August 10.

Stephen Roche was inducted into the Giro d'Italia hall of fame in February as preparations for the Grande Partenza intensified - and Mc Laughlin believes Ireland is now gripped by Giro fever

Stephen Roche, Giro d'Italia hall of fame induction, Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

Having amassed 58 wins during his career, Roche – whose achievement in winning the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, and world road race championship in the same year is equalled only by Eddy Merckx – now runs cycling holidays and training camps and will join Team SKODA on the 100-mile ride.

He said: “Mass participation cycling is great for fans of the sport. If I was a football fan, I couldn’t go and play at Wembley, but as a cyclist I can go and ride the same route as the pro riders – either in training or events, such as Prudential RideLondon.

“I think people can relate to cycling because of this. There’s something special about going and training at locations such as Box Hill knowing that the pros are out there doing it too so I’m looking forward to joining the SKODA team and thousands of cyclists in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 challenge.

“Training is going well. I’m currently training two to three times a week and while I’m generally fit and active, it is important to build-up the miles ahead of the day, as it’s a long way to ride."

Also set for the weekend, for the first time, will be the Prudential RideLondon Handcycle Classic – the fifth event to be added to the weekend which already includes the UCI-classified RideLondon-Surrey Classic, an elite women’s race and the hugely popular sportive.

A field of up to 50 elite handcyclists will take the start line in Kingston’s Ancient Market Place on Sunday August 10, with the town set to host a cycling festival as part of the day’s festivities.

Event director Hugh Brasher said: “Making the handcycling an event in its own right and moving it to Kingston means we offer the athletes a more testing challenge and make Kingston a central focus of the events on Sunday 10 August."

The festival will see a giant screen set up in Kingston, a cycling exhibition and the usual array of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and market stalls on offer in the market town.

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