Alexander Kristoff wins RideLondon Classic

Norwegian beats Cort and Matthews in sprint

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) sprinted to victory at the RideLondon Classic on Sunday, beating Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) to the line on The Mall.

The sprinters' teams left it until late to marshal escapees Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) but ultimately made the catch with a kilometre to go to set up a bunch finish.

Bora-Hansgrohe led the pack into the final 500 metres for Sam Bennett, with the final lead-out man peeling off with around 250 metres to go as Bennett launched his effort. The Irishman couldn't fend off his surging rivals, however, with Kristoff pulling past on his right to take a commanding lead that he held all the way across the line to triumph in the event's first running as a WorldTour race.

Cort Nielsen made a late push to finish a close second, with Matthews settling for third ahead of a surprising Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac).

Kristoff's victory – his second at the WorldTour level this season after Eschborn-Frankfurt – will be a welcome change of pace for the Norwegian on the heels of a frustrating Tour de France, where he was unable to win a stage. It comes at a time of uncertainty as well, with Kristoff undecided on whose kit he'll wear next season after his current contract with Katusha runs out at the end of this year.

"We weren't able to win at all in the Tour, so we wanted to bounce back today," Kristoff said. "Today we showed we still have a good level and everybody was committed. I knew this course and knew it suited me quite well."

How it unfolded

The 183-kilometre race started and finished in central London, but much of the ride took place on a lumpy parcours on the outskirts of the city, with five short but relatively steep official climbs on the day.

Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha), Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale), Twan Castelijns (LottoNL-Jumbo), Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) formed the early break, moving clear as the race headed out of town. They worked their gap up to around four minutes before the peloton tightened the leash and gradually began pulling them back in, with Sunweb putting in much of the work at the front.

Eventually, Duval and Kreder were dropped, leaving a trio of Keisse, Castelijns and Schmidt up the road. Their gap was down to two minutes with 95 kilometres to go, and it continued to fall rapidly as the pack revved up the pace for the second trip up the Ranmore climb. The catch was made shortly thereafter, but that only spurred further action in the bunch, with Sky applying serious pressure at the head of affairs.

A flurry of attacks and counterattacks saw splits open in the pack and a small group get clear over the climb, with Sky's Pete Kennaugh jumping away with Trentin and Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott). Kennaugh dropped off the back of the move before long, but he was replaced in the lead trio by a bridging Stuyven, who caught up on the next climb as the peloton regrouped behind.

The trio of Impey, Trentin and Stuyven never had much more than half a minute's advantage, but their gap remained relatively steady as the kilometres ticked down and the race headed back into central London. The move would ultimately stay clear for nearly an hour, although Impey fell off the pace with around 15 kilometres to go.

Trentin and Stuyven pressed on, and despite having a gap of only around 20 seconds, they made it all the way through the final corners only to be caught by a hungry peloton with a kilometre to go.

Although Bora controlled the sprint into the last few hundred metres, Kristoff was well-placed only a few positions behind Bennett, and he quickly pulled even once Bennett opened his sprint. The Katusha rider surged to the front as Bennett began to fade, and held off Cort Nielsen for the win.

"The team did amazing work today, especially Nils [Politt] to pull back those guys. There were not many teams who wanted to work with us so we did the main job and pulled it off at the end," Kristoff said.

"After my crash in the Tour I did not feel so good and not in training either, but today it was ok. I could not really follow on the climb, but I felt much better than I did at the Tour. I knew I had a good shot and at the end Michael Mørkøv placed me very well for the final and I just had to take it from there."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin4:45:41 
2Magnus Cort Neilson (Den) Orica-Scott  
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb  
4Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac  
5Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
6Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team  
7Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy  
8Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe  
9Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
11Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky  
12Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors  
13Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates  
14Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
15Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
16Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo  
17Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
18Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
19Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
20Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
21Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
22Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data  
23Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
24Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data  
25Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
26Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
27Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
28Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
29Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
30Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
31Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin  
32Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team LottNl-Jumbo  
33Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
34André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal  
35Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
36Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
37Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
38Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
39Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
40Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
41Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo  
42Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
43Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
44Julen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina  
45Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo  
46Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
47Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
48Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
49Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
50Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
51Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport  
52Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb  
53Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:11 
54Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:14 
55Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-Scott  
56Michael Morkov (Den) Katusha-Alpecin  
57Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal  
58Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:24 
59Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:37 
60Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin  
61Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
62Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
63Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:59 
64Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb  
65Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates  
66Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky0:01:08 
67Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:17 
68Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:01:19 
69Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
70Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott0:01:25 
71Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:01:34 
72Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:01:45 
73Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:05:21 
74Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:09:04 
75Stijn Steels (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
76Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy  
77Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
78Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-Scott  
79Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
80Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky  
81Mirko Trosino (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
82Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:13:01 
83Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:13:10 
84Matthew Brammeier (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport  
85Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
86José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
87Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky  
88William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
89Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
90Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
91Raffaello Bonusi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
92Josu Zabala (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
93Dylan Page (Swi) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
94Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
95Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
96Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky  
97Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
98Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
99Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal  
100Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
101Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
102Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
103Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin  
104Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
105Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:17:18 
106Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
OTLNathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:23:44 
OTLMads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo  
OTLMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
OTLMarco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
OTLMaximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors  
OTLAlberto Cecchin (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
OTLJames Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal  
OTLGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
OTLGuy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
OTLJan Bárta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe  
OTLPascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
OTLJason Lowndes (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy  
OTLMiles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFMichal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFPiet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFDries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFBert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFReto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Sunweb  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFJakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFAlex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFLuca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMatteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFPeter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFMartyn Irvine (Ire) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFLars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFMark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data  
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFRobin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFPiotr Brozyna (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFTom Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo  
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  

Related Articles

Back to top