We first heard of the Brompton World Championships when we bought our Brompton’s and unfortunately were too late to enter the ballot in 2018!. We made sure to enter the ballot the next year and was lucky to have made the cut!
The iconic race course covers 8 laps around St James’ Park, past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall. Competitors start the race with a Le Mans-style dash, having to unfold their bikes before taking on the 17km circuit.
The Brompton World Championship in London operates a ballot system where you can only get a place if selected. Brompton also holds qualifying championships across the globe for top individuals to get a place in the London finals. Entrants will be selected across a range of abilities in order to maximise the number of riders we can accommodate safely on the course.
The ballot opens in January and closes in early February. I was advised that I had been successful shortly after the ballot had been closed and to finalise payments to secure my spot. There are also reserve lists for people who drop out during the next few months.
The entry fee of £50. This fee includes;
- Event entry
- Electronic chip timing (this was returned after the race)
- Rider meal in the Brompton Hospitality Area on The Mall
- 1 guest ticket
- Event goody bag
Timeline of registration to race
Training for the race
In preparation of the race I found the inner-circle of Regents Park a good place to train laps. Each lap is is around 1.1km. Each Sunday morning I would practice my timings and even some intervals. This once a week activity turned into 3 times a week in the final 3 weeks leading up to the race.
I also commute 10km each way to work five days a week so I also made sure to do some training during this time!
Location and Map
The iconic race course covers 8 laps around St James’ Park, past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall. This years route had changed to a clockwise format instead of anti-clockwise like previous years.
Registration & Instructions
The registration opens from 1pm and strictly closes at 5pm for the race that is scheduled for 7:10pm. Photo ID was required to register and mark your name off the list. At registration we received our race numbers, timing chip, one competitor wristband pass, and one guest wristband pass for the hospitality area. There are people around to help with this which is very helpful for first-timers!
Bike setup and sticker preparation
There was a mannequin illustrating where to put all the stickers and numbers.
Body Number, Wrist Number, Shoulder Numbers, Handlebar Number, Top Tube Number
13:00 – BWC Competitor Registration, Info Point, Bike Park and Hospitality Area open
17:00 – BWC Competitor Registration closes
18:45 – Competitors must be at Competitor Entrance (see map on page two) ready for Bike Grid Setup 18:50 – BWC Bike Grid Setup commences
19:00 – BWC Bike Grid Setup completed 19:05 BWC Final rider briefing on The Mall
19:10 – BWC race starts 20:30 BWC prize giving
21:00 – Brompton Hospitality Area and Bike Park closes
The hospitality is a large area that has a lot of room to enjoy the races, eat, drink and participate in the activities that were on for the day. We arrived around 4pm and felt that 3 hours preparing for the race to start was a good amount of time as we could eat, have a coffee and see some activities that were taking place.
Watching the Womens Classique on the big screen from the marque.
Brompton Merchandise & the new Brompton Clothing Range
Fastest fold – overheard the winner Ivo has been winning the fastest fold at 6 other events.
Food and Drinks
No-Cheese Pizza from The Good Slice worth £8 (Complimentary food voucher).
Coffee with Oatly !
Refillable drinking water
The Loo (toilet) situation
This was perhaps one of my favourite sights. I was able to easily access the toilets at the last minute before the race.
A lot of interesting outfits and plenty of suit jackets at the start line.
My outfit for the race and my Brompton.
The race format is a le mans style race which means the race starts with a dash to your folded bike to unfold and then race. The first rider to complete eight laps will be the overall race winner. The race is concluded once the first rider has completed the eight laps, with complete results issued based on number of full laps completed and time. Due to a number of crashes this year, and quite a serious one towards the end the race was stopped earlier and only a small amount of riders actually completed the full eight laps.
The race is seeded according to four groups (A,B,C,D) and the groups have a 10 second delay between them to manage the sheer amount of racers. That means if your are in group D, not only do you have a 30 second delayed start time, you are also the furthest from the start line..
The Brompton World Championship London Final 2019 medal
The prizes given to the winners were quite good. A new Brompton!, however I felt that the runner-up and third placing prizes could’ve been better. I recall their prizes being a bottle of champagne, shirts and some new Brompton wheels..
Individual Female and Male winners this year.
The goodies bag
The goodies bag was only given to riders when leaving the hospitality area after the race. The contents were quite disappointing, however the bag itself would be useful.
It was very exciting to take part in my first Brompton World Championship in London. Overall it was a great experience and loved the atmosphere.
In terms of the actual race, there was defiantly some serious riders that took part this year and a lot of people just riding for fun. The winning time was a tight 25:45, that’s an average speed of 40km/hour. I felt this made the course quite tricky for the fast riders and it certainly caused a handful of crashes (some quite serious). The first place was actually disqualified as they had reviewed the tapes or video footage and saw that he was involved (although not deliberately) in causing a crash.
I myself went down on the 7th lap due to a tight turn. Came out slightly scratched, but was still able to carry onto the final lap (which was cut short for everybody). I can’t wait to register again next year, but not looking forward to the training!
Changes I would like to see next year include:
- Qualifying races in the UK before the Brompton World Championship
- Better prizes for 2nd and 3rd place – at least a Brompton bag.
- Safety announcements to be announced before the race as many people have never raced before
- Earlier start times as it got quite dark at the end.