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RideLondon Classic 2016
As the next Olympic Games approach in Rio, the RideLondon Classic represents the legacy of the 2012 edition. Four years in, the one-day race is much more assured of its place in the calendar and attracts some of the world’s best riders.
While the Clasica San Sebastian is one for the climbers, RideLondon has been dubbed the sprinter’s race. That is true, in some ways, but this is rarely bunch sprint race and the winner has to make the cut when the group eventually splits up. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) 2013 success is the last to have come from a bunch gallop with the past two victors coming from a breakaway.
The day begins in the heart of the British capital at St James’ Park and sets course for Knightsbridge, Richmond Park and the Surrey hills. The picturesque Leith Hill is the first of five classified climbs over the 200-kilometre course. After Leith Hill, the riders move onto three laps of a circuit that includes the Ranmore climb. It is here that the first major selections will come, but the subsequent Box Hill will cut that down further as the race turns back towards London. The path back up north to the Mall is lumpy and give riders without a sprint a springboard towards success.
Last year’s winner Jempy Drucker (BMC) has the backing of a strong squad including Marcus Burghardt and Daniel Oss. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) will be a tough man to beat if he makes the cut. The German took a while to get off the mark at the Tour de France but will be on a high after winning on the Champs Elysees.
Team Sky has brought in the big guns with Tour de France winner Chris Froome, but it is to Ben Swift that they are looking for success. Tom Boonen, Matteo Trentin and Niki Terpstra gives Etixx-QuickStep plenty of options, depending on how the race pans out. Adam Blythe will debut his British Champion’s jersey as he races for the GB squad, alongside Dan McLay and Alex Dowsett.
RideLondon Classic 201631 July 2016 | London | 1.HC
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