I stayed in an Airbnb in Homerton, which I mainly choose because it was near the Olympic Park, where the start was. And it was good to be close, because I had there by 6:40 latest. You are assigned a colour and a starting wave. They stagger the waves to avoid congestion on the road. I think faster riders will also be in the earlier waves. I guess I was somewhere in the middle.
It rained all night, so the roads were pretty wet, but the sun came out a bit later.
The route went through London, past the sight seeing attraction like London Tower, the Thames, Richmond Park (saw one deer), Parliament, Big Ben and so on. I don't have many photos, because I really didn't stop a lot. This one is from the Surrey Hills at a food stop.
Talking about food stops: they were very well organized and stocked. The whole sportive was organized well. The route was marked with big signs, all dangerous or difficult areas were marked and often stewards were there to warn people. There were food, water and toilet stops all over the route. Start and finish were equally well done.
I saw four accidents and at each one there was already a mobile ambulance helping out.
I felt totally safe riding, the amount of people was never a problem and there was also no aggressive riding.
Support of the crowd on the route was also great. Every village / town had something going on. Live music, cheering, food and small festivities. I guess some of them didn't have anything better to do, because their only road was blocked.
I finished in around 5 hours 30 minutes, which is pretty good for me on that kind of distance. I didn't really do many 100+ km rides this year. My main strategy was to keep on eating my energy gels and stock up on water around the 80km mark. I didn't drink enough water as usual. Bicycle behaved too, no puncture and no problems at all.
I can highly recommend this to everyone who wants to enjoy a bit of cycling in and around London without having to worry about cars misbehaving.
I should also mention that I flew with Norwegian from Barcelona and they were brilliant as always. Very friendly, helpful and nice to my bike bag too (as far as I could see). Here is a photo of one of their ground personal making sure my bike doesn't drop of the conveyor belt on the flight back.