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Prudential RideLondon Classic 2015: RideLondon Classic

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 Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the RideLondon Classic. 

Hello from a sunny central London, where the riders are lining up for the start of the Elite men's Classic race. 

As the Elite men are about to start, the thousands of sportif riders are finishing their ride.

 

And there off! The riders face 200km of racing. 

 

There are some big name riders on the start list today.

 

They include Bradley Wiggins, who is making a rare appearance on the road. 

 

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) is also in action as he looks to secure his future.   

 

For a full race preview, click here. 

 

The riders left Horse guard's parade in central London and are covering a 6.3km neutralised sector before the official start in Earl's Court.

 

The riders got a special red carpet treatment in Horse Guard's parade. The race will finish in the Mall in just over five hours. 

 

2014 winner Adam Blythe (Orica-GreenEdge) returns to the race with a strong supporting cast, which includes Michael Hepburn.

 

Although Chris Froome is missing from Team Sky’s line up, their home team’s roster does include last year’s runner-up Ben Swift and the experienced Bernie Eisel.

Swift is still finding his form after his crash at the Tour de Yorkshire earlier this season but with Andy Fenn, Chris Sutton and Elia Viviani also in Team Sky’s line-up the British team certainly have options.

 

Cavendish will be supported by Tom Boonen, with the Belgian using the race as part of his build-up towards the World Championships in Richmond, US, later this year.

 

The race is underway and has passed through Chiswick. The break of the day has yet to form.  

 

From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see that Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-QuickStep teammates are controlling the attacks at the head of the peloton. 

They will want to limit the number of riders that go way in the early break. 

 

The peloton is passing through Richomd Park in south London, home to a very popular circuit for London cyclists. 

 

We're getting news of the first break of the day.

 

The first climb of today's race comes after 75km as the riders tackle Leith Hill.

 

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) was in the first attack of the day he and three others have been pulled back. 

Another break has formed and this one has been given the okay to go clear. 

 

We're hearing that the break has quickly opened a 4:00 lead on the peloton.

 

There are five riders in the attack but the bunch is also working hard.

 

150km remaining from 200km

Cavendish seemed keen to race from the front and tried to get in the break of the day. After being caught he stopped for an adjustment to his handlebars but he is now back in the peloton. 

 

The five breakaways ate Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling), Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo Vini Fantini), Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis), Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Lander Seynaeve (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

 

147km remaining from 200km

Etixx-QuickStep is trying to control the break by placing a rider on the front. The Belgian team is getting some help from the British Raleigh GAC team, who does not have a rider in the break.  

 

 Last year the rider battled through the wind and rain. Today they're enjoying a nice summer day in Britain.

The riders are in the tree-lined lanes of south-east London. 

 

The five riders are sharing the work in the break. Their lead is up to five minutes. 

Bradley Wiggins is riding carefully at the back of the peloton, riding for the Wiggins team. He is chatting to Philippe Gilbert (BMC) who finished second in yesterday's Clasica San Sebastian. 

 

135km remaining from 200km

The five have a lead of 4:10. 

 

RT @RideLondon: The @Etixx_QuickStep boys are ensuring the break doesn't get out of hand. They want to line @MarkCavendish up for the sprin…

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 14:05:11

There are huge crowds along the race route today. They cheered the thousands of sportif riders earlier and are now enjoying the professional race. 

 

130km remaining from 200km

The break slows as the five riders tackle Leith Hill. 

 

It is the first of the five categorised climbs in the race.

 

Etixx-QuickStep has three riders on the front of the peloton but will have to save some strength for the finish due to five-rider teams.

 

Making his debut with the Etixx-QuickStep team is Fernando Gaviria, the talented Colombian track rider and sprinter. He could be Cavendish's lead out man today or also be the protected sprinter.

 

125km remaining from 200km

Rowsell was the first to the top of Leith Hill and so is the first leader in the climber's competition.

 

The next climb comes in 15km to the top of Ranmore Common.

 

The gap has fallen to 2:40 after the climb, as Pete Williams flats. He will have to chase hard to get back to the break.  

 

The four opted to wait for Williams and so he quickly returned to he break.

 

In the peloton, the Orica-GreenEdge team is also riding near the front, ticked behind Etixx. 

 

117km remaining from 200km

The five lead the peloton by 2:15.

 

Flat for Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo Vini Fantini).

 

The other four rides opt not to ease this team and power without the Italian.

 

The gap is falling as the four rider fade. However it is early for the peloton to catch the break.  

 

109km remaining from 200km

Rowsell is again the first to the top of the climb, picking up more points in the special classification.  

 

Iljo Keisse is riding on the front for Etixx, with the peloton at 1:35.

 

Stacchiotti got back after is flat but the climb cracked Williams. 

 

105km remaining from 200km

Team Sky is also doing some work behind the break of the day.

 

The break lead by 5:00 at one point but it is down to 1:15 now.

 

Upfront the five have comeback together after the climb of Ranmore Common.  

 

New signing and stagiaire Alex Peters is doing the work for Team Sky.   

 

Williams apparently dropped his chain on the climb but is back in the five-rider break.

 

Wiggins is at the back of the peloton, enjoying some race food as the kilometres tick down.

 

The riders pass through the second intermediate sprint point, with the third climb up Ranmore Common coming in 10km.  

 

Stacchiotti takes the sprint in a close sprint, beating Williams. 

 

92km remaining from 200km

Another flat for Williams in the country lanes of Surrey, south of London.

 

Stacchiotti wins the sprint to the top of Ranmore Common. 

 

The peloton remains in control at 1:30.

 

88km remaining from 200km

We have a lone chaser between the break and the peloton. It is Floris Gerts of the Netherlands. He is also a stagiaire with the US-registered, Swiss-based team. 

 

The peloton is passing through the feed zone, grabbing their musettes.

 

Upfront the break has split, with Rowsell and Stacchiotti going clear.    

 

But Williams and Seynaeve quickly close the gap. 

 

#RideLondon 4 leaders now: Williams, Rowsell, Helven & Stacchiotto are 3'00" ahead. Lone chaser Gerts is 42" behind leaders. 81km to go.

@TeamMTNQhubeka Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 15:40:00

80km remaining from 200km

Floris Gerts  (BMC) is about to join the break up front. He surged across the gap with a strong ride.

 

Gerts has upped the pace in the break. It will be interesting to see the BMC tactics for the finale now.

 

BMC does not need to chase now with Gerts up front. 

 

Time for the third sprint and Stacchiotti takes it, ahead of Williams.

 

75km remaining from 200km

The peloton is 2:20 behind.

 

The riders face a fourth climb of Ranmore Common and a fourth sprint in Dorking before the important climb of Box hill and then the fast ride back to central London.

 

Crash! At the back of the peloton, including former Belgian champion Jens Debusschere.

 

He gets some assistance from two teammates.

 

70km remaining from 200km

Rowsell goes early to take the climber's point on the top of Ranmore Common.

 

The race is also splitting behind with Sep Van Marcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacking hard and splitting the peloton.

 

70km remaining from 200km

The break of four has a lead of 1:10. 

 

We're seeing attacks now at #RideLondon on the 3rd pass over Ranmore. @swiftybswift following the moves well in his return race. 70km to go

@TeamSky Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 15:59:43

#RideLondon 3 counter attackers are chasing the 5 leaders. Peloton are only 50" from the front of the race though. 64km to go

@TeamMTNQhubeka Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:07:45

The race is very fluid at the moment as new riders given the break extra impulse up front.

 

The peloton is only 25 seconds behind the seven leaders. 

 

Floris Gerts (BMC) leads the race but only has 30 seconds on the chasers with the peloton a little further back.

 

58km remaining from 200km

Gerts is ticked over his bars as he reaches Dorking again. 

 

Pete Williams is set to win the sprints competition after Erick Rowsell won the climber's competition.

 

It is time for Box Hill. The short climb was covered in the 2012 Olympic road race and saw the attacks that split the peloton. 

 

#RideLondon 7 leaders start Box Hill together. Peloton only 15" behind. 54km to go.

@TeamMTNQhubeka Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:19:18

Here we go! Gilbert surges clear of the peloton. 

 

Several riders are on Gilbert's wheel, including Britain's Ben Swift (Team Sky).

 

The peloton is about to catch the break in the shadows of the trees. 

 

52km remaining from 200km

Several riders are being spat our of the back, including Elia Viviani (Team Sky). 

 

Upfront we have Gilbert with BMC teammate Rohan Dennis and Ben Swift (Team Sky).

 

There are two front groups of six riders.  

 

There are 20 or so riders in the front group, as Etixx-QuickStep chase behind.

 

#RideLondon has split apart into small groups following Box Hill. @swiftybswift riding up front for @TeamSky. 50km to race #GoSwifty!!!

@TeamSky Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:27:40

#RideLondon small lead group has formed at the front. We have Farrar and @Kri_s90 in the front!

@TeamMTNQhubeka Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:28:09

BMC has three riders in the move with Dennis and Floris doing the work for Gilbert.

 

It is a super fast descent off Box hill and then a blast back to London. The gap is only 13 seconds to the peloton. 

 

The race is lined out with the peloton on the tail of the break.

 

Peloton, led by @Etixx_QuickStep has helped bring back the move but there are more riders trying to get a gap. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:35:46

Cavendish has taken on the race and gone on the attack on the descent. 

 

He has Dennis on his wheel with the other riders chasing them down. 

 

Cavendish is hoping to drag a group clear in the hope of winning the sprint. 

 

However Dennis is riding for Gilbert and so doing massive turns with Cavendish. 

 

The two have been chased down as the race blows the peloton to pieces.

 

35km remaining from 200km

The gap is up 28 seconds now.

 

The peloton is lined out at speed. The race is on.

 

There are eight riders in the break, including Cavendish.

 

It seems it is not Cavendish but his young teammate Gaviria. 

 

Leigh Howard is there for Orica-GreenEdge.

 

Ben Swift (Team Sky) is also there, with Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo).

 

Mike Teunissen is also there for LottoNL-Jumbo.

 

The gap is up to 45 seconds now.

 

With so many strong teams up front, there is no strong chase behind.

 

Bora Argon 18 is leading the chase with 4 riders on the front. But there are eight attackers up the road.  

 

#RideLondon some fast guys in this lead group: Howard, Drucker, Gaviria, Swift, Van Rooy, Theunissen, Vanmarcke & @kri_s90. 42" with 30km

@TeamMTNQhubeka Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 16:51:24

26km remaining from 200km

The break has a lead of 50 seconds. The bunch seems to be running out of power to close the gap.

 

The gap is close to a minute and team cars have been allowed up to the attackers.

 

Drucker is in the break for BMC and can sprint but he is isolated while LottoNL-Jumbo has two rider in Vanmarcke and Theunissen

 

20km remaining from 200km

The gap is over a minute but is starting to fall. 

 

The gap is up to 1:30 as the bunch seems to have eased up. 

 

Ben Swift (Team Sky) finished second in 2014 and is a fast sprinter. However he has been recovering from a injury-hit spring. 

 

Gaviria is riding his first professional race with Etixx and it would be a massive win for the young Colombian rider.

 

#RideLondon: Peloton look like they have sat up... Inside last 20km and gap out to over 1:30min to group of 8 with @leighhoward1.

@ORICA_GreenEDGE Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:07:04

The riders in the break are still working smoothly together but will soon start to think of the finale. 

 

Indeed, Swift surges off the front in an attempt to split the group.

 

It is Drucker and Teunissen with Swift. 

 

It is Sbaragli who closes the gap on the trio as the others save their legs. 

 

Now Sep Vanmarcke plays his cards. He has a gap.

 

Swift goes after him but Drucker follows him. 

 

Vanmarcke is disappearing up the road as his teammate Mike Teinissen marks the attacks. 

 

LottoNL-Jumbo was the only team with two riders in the attack and they're making it count. Vanmarcke has a 16-second gap. 

 

10km remaining from 200km

Gap growing to the chase group due to lack of cooperation. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:16:21

Vanmarcke is giving it everything tucked over his Bianchi bike. 

 

This could be the first win of 2015 for Vanmarcke.

 

10km to go. @sepvanmarcke is in the lead! Come on, Sep! #RideLondon

@LottoJumbo_road Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:16:47

6km remaining from 200km

Vanmarcke is still clear but his lead is falling as they chase behind.

 

The riders hug the river Thames until turning for the finish in the Mall. 

 

4km remaining from 200km

Vanmarcke is going deep but is close to victory. 

 

The chasers are thinking of the placings now. Vanmarcke is on his way to victory.

 

But Ben Swift has attacked alone and is trying to go across the gap.  

 

Teunissen is marking rides and stopping the attacks. 

 

2km remaining from 200km

Swift, Drucker are closing the gap but Mike Tuenissen is there too. He could attack when Vanmarcke is caught. 

 

It is going to be a four-rider sprint. Perhaps.

 

1km remaining from 200km

Final kilometre!

 

Drucker is on the front. 

 

The riders pass through Trafalgar Square.

 

Howard and others are coming back. 

 

In the sprint Dricker goes long and manages to hold off Teunissen and Swift. 

 

Drucker wins it with a huge final effort.

 

What a finale! Lotto-NL-Jumbo seemed set to win but Vanmarcke was caught and then Drucker produced a long, powerful sprint.   

 

Teunissen tried to come up on Drucker but did not have the speed. Swift also ran out of legs, with Vanmarcke fourth. 

 

BMC Racing Team's @jempy_drucker wins #RideLondon!

@BMCProTeam Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:30:22

It's third place for @swiftybswift in the sprint at #RideLondon. A great result on his return from injury. Drucker (BMC) takes it

@TeamSky Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:30:22

Jean-Pierre Drucker wins the @RideLondon, @MikeTeunissen finishes 2nd. @sepvanmarcke is 4th. #RideLondon

@LottoJumbo_road Sun, 2nd Aug 2015 17:30:14

Drucker has taken several impressive placings this season but that was his first win of 2015. 

 

Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) was sixth after just failing to catch the final attackers.

 

Swift was so keen to win that he was stuck on the front in the finale and so had to lead out the sprint. 

 

The final riders are completing the race after a fast 200km of racing.  

 

Drucker was happy to win and explained his tactics. 

“I’m a fast guy and so I was pretty confident. I watched Ben Swift because he was nervous and wanted to do something here. I focused on him and his wheel. It ended up good for me," he said.

“I’m a sprinter who loves a pretty hard race, so we tried to make it a hard race. It was perfect for us.”
 

 

That's it for today's live coverage from the RideLondon Classic. 

Check out Cyclingnews for a full race report, photo gallery and exclusive news from the race.

We'll have more live coverage from the racing during the week. 

 

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