A MAJOR cycling event is set to come to Maldon.

Part of the RideLondon Classique is being held in Essex for the first time.

The race has traditionally been a one-day event in the centre of the capital.

Following a new partnership with Essex County Council, the event, which is part of the UCI Women’s World Tour, has now been extended to a three-day stage race.

The first stage of the race, featuring the best female riders in the world, will be held in Maldon and the final one in London.

Read more >>> London's biggest cycling event is set to come to Essex for the first time

Day one will see riders set off from Maldon before completing two laps of Abberton Reservoir, on the outskirts of Colchester, and return past Tiptree before finishing with two circuits around Maldon.

Organisers say Promenade Park will be a great place to watch the Classique get underway as riders roll out from the park at 11am on May 27.

Spectators should find a spot in Maldon High Street or Market Hill to watch the stage come to a “thrilling” finale, with riders passing by three times.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: The full stage one RideLondon Classique routeThe full stage one RideLondon Classique route

Credit: RideLondon

Race director Scott Sunderland said: “We were looking for stages that were different and have their own character.

“Maldon is near the coast and has a lot of open space, with beautiful roads and the potential for wind.

“If the weather is dirty, windy and wet, then this stage could make for some really tough racing.

“It’s one that will be suited to the powerful riders and the strong sprinters. It’s going to be a very dynamic stage.”

The second stage of Classique will start in Chelmsford and finish in Epping.

RideLondon is one of the world’s greatest cycling events and the Classique launches the festival taking place in Essex and London this year.

An Activation Fund has been set up to financially support parish and town councils, schools, organisations and community groups to inspire their communities to become involved in the event.

Grants up to £500 are available to support celebrations, activities or other community events.

For more information visit bit.ly/3k5Whk2.