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Live coverage

RideLondon Classic 2016

 Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the men's Ride London Classic. 

Hello from London for full live coverage from the RideLondon race. 

 

We will have all the action from the British one-day race that starts and finishes in the heart of the capital. 

The riders, including Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) have just rolled out from the start in central London. 

 

The riders have rolled past Harrods and other landmarks, before the official start was given in Earls Court. 

 

We have seen some brief attacks from the Cyclingnews blimp but so far the speed is high as the peloton stays together.

 

Chris Froome was given a huge cheer as he lined up and Team Sky lead the peloton from the start.

 

The riders have crossed Chiswick bridge to head into south London. 

 

The 202km race route follows many of the roads used for the 2012 London Olympic road race, with a loop south into Surrey and five hills before a flat and fast 40km blast back to central London for the finish on the Mall.   

 

The speed is high in the peloton, touching 50km/h at times but a break has yet to establish itself.  

 

The riders are now in Richmond Park, famous for London riders able to ride on its closed pathways.  

 

The RideLondon favours the Classics riders and sprinters, even if it is often difficult for one team to control the attacks all the way to the finish.

 

Last year’s winner Jempy Drucker (BMC) won from a small group that stayed clear. 

 

Drucker is back this year and 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.

 

For the full Cyclingnews preview and to find the start list of route information, click here. 

 

This is the full race map. 

 

 

As the race passed through Kingston, a small group managed to go clear and could now form the early break of the day. 

 

 

The riders have covered 30km so far at a fast pace as they fight to establish the break of the day. 

 

At Weybridge after 35km three riders have gone clear and are about to be joined by two others.

 

The riders have opened a 3:00 gap on the peloton. We seem to have the break of the day. 

 

Etixx and Team Sky are leading the chase of the break but the gap is up to 4:00.

 

We can see that Jempy Drucker (BMC) is in the break of the day. We will soon have the other names.

 

Also in the move is Jens Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen).

 

As are Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), Dexter Gardias (Pedal Heaven), Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural).

 

Were hearing the race has been neutralised for the moment.

We're trying to find out more.  

 

The six-rider break lead the peloton by 3:50 when the race was neutralised. We expect race judges will give the riders the same time when the race is restarted.

 

The riders have come to complete stop. There are reports of an incident on the route ahead of the race.

 

The mass-participation event that proceeds the race has been delayed due to several serious accidents. This could be the reason for the race delay.

Earlier the route of the mass ride was reduce to help the flow of the thousands of sportif riders. 

 

The race has been stopped at the 148km to go point in the country roads before the first climb of the day.

 

Riders are sitting in the grass at the roadside. It seems the race has caught up the back of the sportif ride which was slowed by accidents.  

 

Former rider David Millar has posted a Twitter video from the roadside, showing the race stopped and riders awaiting news on the restart.

 

In theory all the sportif riders should have been well clear of the race but the accidents delayed the many riders, creating a huge delay.  

 

 

#RideLondon The race is neutralized due to some issues further on the road. Hope the riders will be back on the bike soon! Keep you posted.

@Lotto_Soudal Sun, 31st Jul 2016 13:51:57

Race back underway at 47km and the six riders in the break are allowed to head up the road before the rest of the peloton...

@JillADouglas Sun, 31st Jul 2016 13:56:10

The race is back moving.  

 

The race was stopped for 20 minutes. As expected the race judges allowed the six breakaway riders to start first. They were allowed to regain their 3:50 lead and then peloton was then started too. 

 

14:55 RACE RE-STARTED: The Race Director has set off with the leading six riders following to re-establish their gap. The peloton waits.

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 13:56:51

The riders are on the first climb of the race. This is not one of the categorised climbs but near West Horsley. 

 

1/2 The race was paused on police advice on public safety grounds due to congestion in Dorking High St of riders in the #RideLondon 100

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 14:13:49

2/2 This was caused by both the delay from the earlier stop when a rider required an air ambulance & the riders who were diverted at Mile 44

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 14:14:24

The race is back up to speed and the six riders have kept much of their 3:50 lead as Team Sky leads the chase and sets a fast tempo behind.

 

We've got @ChristianKnees doing his thing on the front right now. The break has 3'30" with 130km to go #RideLondon https://t.co/E9eVOCfgZP

@TeamSky Sun, 31st Jul 2016 14:21:21

The six breakaways did not contest the sprint in Dorking as they begin the four laps of the Surrey lanes circuit. They still lead by 3:30.

 

The riders are now at the foot of Leith Hill, first categorized climb of the day. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 31st Jul 2016 14:26:33

 

We have some images from the moment the race was neutralised. Here you can see Chris Froome waiting to race again.    

 

 

This is an image of Froome in action.

 

 

The six riders in the break are Jempy Drucker (BMC), Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), Dexter Gardias (Pedal Heaven), Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural) and Jens Wallays (Lotto Soudal).

 

The race is in the hills of Surrey, with the rider tackling Leith Hill and Ranmore three times before the final climb of Box Hill.   

 

15:42: The state of the race remains the same, with 6 riders including 2015 champ @jempy_drucker over 3 mins clear of the bunch #RideLondon

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 14:42:55

For several riders in today's race, the 202km will be a last effort before flying to Rio for the Olympics. 

Froome, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard Steve Cummings are in action but will fly to Rio overnight. 

 

111km remaining from 200km

There is still 111km left to race, the break remains 3:20. 

 

Team Sky and Etixx are leading the peloton, with Sky lined out just as they did so often at the Tour de France. 

 

Crash! 

Several riders in the peloton have gone down.

 

Some are sat on the side of the road as they get mechanical help and first aid. 

 

108km remaining from 200km

The break is on the climb again, with huge crowds cheering them on. Their gap is down slightly, to 3:10

 

15:49: @Jonathanlastra_ won the first sprint

Holmes leads the six over the top of Ranmore. They face two more laps of this rolling circuit.  

 

The country lanes are narrow and so Team Sky are riding on the front to avoid any crashes or splits. 

 

Christian Knees leads the peloton at the top of Ranmore 3:05 back on the break.  

 

The peloton is grabbing their musettes at the feed zone with 105km to go. It's time for fresh bottles and more race food. However the pace has not eased. 

 

The descent from Ranmore is fast and through the trees.

 

The break has split after Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) almost crashes on a hairpin.

 

100km remaining from 200km

As we reach 100km to go, Knees is still on the front of the peloton. He can set a fast pace for long spells as a powerful domestique.  

 

16:06: K.O.M recap: THREE KINGS - @jempy_drucker, @dextergardias and @Jonathanlastra_ are locked on 9 points each currently

93km remaining from 200km

The peloton passes through Dorking at pace, there is no respite in the race.

 

Team Sky is using its riders to chase the attack but will that hurt heir chances of victory? Ben Swift is Team Sky's protected rider today an hoping for a sprint finish.

 

16:18: The 2nd climb up Ranmore Common starts for the leaders with more K.O.M points up for grabs. The gap tumbles again to 2'22"

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 15:18:54

Team Sky has upped the pace on the narrow roads of the lower slopes of Ranmore. Two riders are off the front. 

 

The break reaches the top of Ranmore but the gap is down to 1:40 as Holmes sprints to take the KOM sprint.

 

Geraint Thomas is on the attack. Team Sky is trying to split the race after perhaps to being happy that other teams have not helped with the chase. 

 

86km remaining from 200km

A group has formed Thomas, Froome and others but the peloton is chasing them. 

 

This was Chris Froome before the start today.

 

 

Thomas is actually still clear alone but behind him  a group of 25 or so riders has formed and distanced the peloton.

 

Thomas is already picking up riders from the early break. 

 

That attack has seen the peloton drastically slim down but we've still got numbers in there - including an active @chrisfroome. #RideLondon

@TeamSky Sun, 31st Jul 2016 15:29:44

It will be interesting to see if the peloton will have the power and speed to catch the group of 25 that includes Froome.

 

Four riders left at the front, but the gap is coming down. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 31st Jul 2016 15:31:17

Situation: @jellewallays, Drucker, Holmes & Lastra in front. 4 riders are chasing them, a group of 20 riders behind the chasers #RideLondon

@Lotto_Soudal Sun, 31st Jul 2016 15:36:20

Team Sky has Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas in a chase group behind the four attackers. The 20 rider group is a minute back.  

 

Pat Bevin (Cannondale) is also in the move with Thomas. 

 

75km remaining from 200km

The race is in Dorking yet again for the third sprint. The riders face one more climb of Ranmore before heading to Box Hill. 

 

Behind  the Thomas attack the chasers have lost steam and there is no organised chase.

 

Several teams are trying to lead the chase, including BMC, Great Britain, Bardiani and Orica.

 

Lastra took the third sprint in Dorking but the race is about staying out front before the Box hill climb and the arrival of Thomas and Stannard from behind.

 

16:45: Thomas & Co. are 49" back from that leading quartet #RideLondon

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 15:45:31

Team Sky has split open the race. The peloton is back at 2:40. 

 

The riders are on the final assault of Ranmore now. 

 

Holmes leads the riders over the KOM line. He's clearly targeting a spot on the podium as the KOM winner today.  

 

Behind the four, Stannard, Thomas and Bevin are only 30 seconds behind. 

 

It seems the BMC team is hoping that Drucker can defend the team's chances from the front break.

 

16:51: Out of the shade and over the K.O.M. line the leaders go. @MatthewHolmes51 may just have sewn up that particular gong.

Here they come. Stannard, Thomas and Bevin join the four up front. We now have a break of seven riders.

The peloton is 2:40 back and perhaps out of the race. 

 

65km remaining from 200km

Stannard and Thomas are quickly on the front and driving the pace.

It will need a very convinced and organised chase by the peloton to catch them.

 

Team Sky has two strong riders in the seven-rider attack. Can thy win today? 

 

#RideLondon the chasers have caught the @jempy_drucker break with 65km to

The team cars have been allowed to pass the chase group and join their riders up front. Max Sciandri is talking to Drucker to decide BMC's tactics. 

 

They will need a perfect tactic to beat Team Sky today.

 

Of course with two Team Sky riders up front the other five riders will try to play a tactical game and avoid doing too much work. 

 

Advantage of the break is increasing again. 2:40 with 60 kilometers to go. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:02:38

The riders are approaching Dorking again and then face the climb of Box Hill that was made famous by the 2012 Olympics. 

The climb could see Team Sky trying to split the break. 

 

58km remaining from 200km

Some accelerations split the break slightly but they are quickly back together. 

 

Meanwhile behind Chris Froome is playing the perfect teammate by marking the attacks from the chase group. 

 

As the break starts Box Hill, Stannard attacks but he's kept in check. Is he working for Thomas or trying to win himself?

 

Inside final 60k at #RideLondon w/ 7 riders ahead including our @PaddyBevin. @RideLondon broadcasters project winner to come from this group

@Ride_Argyle Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:12:22

The pace is steady so far with Drucker leading the break ti dissuade any serious attacks.

 

Now Thomas attacks!

 

The elastic has snapped near the top of Box hill. Team Sky has split the attack. 

 

Thomas has already opened a big gap.

 

With Thomas on the attack, it is now up to the others to chase him, allowing Stannard to sit on. 

 

Behind Chris Froome also accelerates at the front of the peloton. He's perhaps testing his legs for Rio rather than trying any kind of serious move.

Froome is also chasing the attacks. 

 

Froome rode two criteriums after winning the Tour de France and then spent three nights at home in Monaco. He will travel to Rio with the Great Britain team over night.  

 

This is a serious attack from @GeraintThomas86. He's forged a sizeable gap on the six-man lead group and has got his head down

Thomas pushes hard on the pedals, taking the out pedal stroke out of the saddle before focusing again on a time trial effort to the finish.

 

45km remaining from 200km

#RideLondon what an exciting race so far! Thomas' attack is sticking for now with the @jempy_drucker breakaway chasing hard behind him!

@BMCProTeam Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:22:59

Thomas is diving down a fast part of the course, pushing a huge gear. 

 

40km remaining from 200km

Thomas is on his way to central London. he faces a solo 40km time trial to the finish. 

 

17:28: He usually works for his teammates, but today @GeraintThomas86 might just step out of the shade #RideLondon https://t.co/3VEar30hoX

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:28:09

Thomas is diving through corners to save his legs and hold as much speed as he can. 

 

It is now up to Thomas to show he has the speed and strength to stay away. 

He is giving it everything in a tucked position on his bars, trying to hold his pace steady. As a time trial expert and former track rider, he knows how to pace his effort. 

 

17:36: @IStannard may as well spark up a cigar, no way is he helping to chase down his mate. Race control says Thomas is 34" clear

@RideLondon Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:36:23

The peloton has split behind as BMC and Bardiani try to form a chase group. However Etixx is chasing them. 

 

30km remaining from 200km

Thomas is doing a huge effort here. He will be in pain if he stays away but victory will surely ease his pain and give him a huge boost before Rio.  

 

#RideLondon: Geraint Thomas currently leads a chase group of five, including @PaddyBevin, by 41" with 34km left. Reduced bunch at 3:38.

@Ride_Argyle Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:40:29

Behind Thomas, Bevin is leading the chase but Stannard is sat waiting to pounce if Thomas is caught.

Team Sky has this under control.  

 

#RideLondon #OBE leading the chase now, 3"16 the gap to the leader

@ORICA_BE Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:46:54

The Team Sky car is alongside Thomas to talk tactics. Gabriel Rasch is in the team car and tries to encourage Thomas to dig deep with just 25km to go.

 

The race route for the sportif and pro race lead to massive road closures in London but the crowds are out to cheer on the riders.

 

Peloton is gaining ground on Thomas, who is 2:20 ahead at the 22km to go mark. #RideLondon

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 31st Jul 2016 16:55:51

20km remaining from 200km

Thomas leads the chasers by 1:00 but the peloton is trying to chase them all.  

 

The Orica, Etixx and others are working smoothly to try and close the gap.   

 

20km remaining from 200km

Thomas leads the chasers by 1:00 but the peloton is trying to chase them all.  

 

The Orica, Etixx and others are working smoothly to try and close the gap.   

 

The Welsh flags are out cheering along Thomas. 

 

The peloton has pulled back 1:30 now but it could be too late for them to catch Thomas. 

 

The Bardiani riders are also working with Etixx and Orica. There's a lot of fire power in the chase now. 

They could catch the Stannard group of chases but will they catch Thomas? It could be too late.

 

15km remaining from 200km

Thomas still leads the chasers by 1:00 but the peloton is chasing hard and is at 1:40.

 

There are nine riders working hard on the front of the peloton and they're working smoothly as they chase.

 

The team cars behind the Stannard chaser group have been pulled out as the peloton nears.

 

Attack! 

 

 

Stannard goes clear alone, dropping the rest of his chase group. 

 

The rest of the group explodes after his effort as the peloton closes in on the group. 

 

If anyone wondering late chase by peloton in Ride London because it split & took until late on for teams to get back together with numbers

@willfoth Sun, 31st Jul 2016 17:05:21

12km remaining from 200km

Stannard is pushing a huge gear as he makes his effort. He could secure second place behind Thomas or join him and help him stay away.   

 

Etixx has four riders in the chase. They're riding in the hope that Tom Boonen can fight for the sprint finish.

 

However a solo attack indicates the peloton is not fresh. They need to come together and focus on the chase. 

 

The peloton is flying with Bardiani riding for Sonny Colbrelli and Orica riding for Matthews. 

 

8km remaining from 200km

Thomas is in pain as he digs deep. He leads Stannard by 25 seconds and the peloton leads by 40 seconds. This race could end in a sprint, with Thomas caught insight of the finish.

 

5km remaining from 200km

Thomas is close to being caught by Thomas and by the peloton. This is nail biting.

 

#RideLondon 7km to go breakaway caught now just Thomas at 43" and Stannard at 25". Will they stay away or will it be a sprint ?

Stannard has been caught by the peloton and they can now smell and see Thomas up the road. 

 

Not long to go now at #RideLondon! Peloton are chasing hard with Thomas 30" ahead! #BMCRacingTeam2016 https://t.co/T7ZoUmedze

@BMCProTeam Sun, 31st Jul 2016 17:18:05

Thomas has been caught! It's time for a sprint.

 

That is terrible for Thomas after  huge effort. However now the race is wide open.

 

A Bardiani rider is off the front alone but the sprinters are chasing him. 

 

It's Colbrelli with a solo effort. Can he stay away? 

 

The riders have been in action for 4:45 of hard racing.

 

Here they come! 

 

Last km ! 

 

Colbrelli has been caught. Sprint finish!

 

They turn onto the Mall for the sprint.  

 

Lotto lead it out!

 

Matthews and Renshaw hit out well but Tom Boonen takes along the barriers with a wel-timed effort. 

 

Boonen made a strong surge along the barriers, paying back his Etixx teammates for their huge work today in chasing Thomas.

 

Matthews was second, Renshaw third. 

 

We stand corrected, Renshaw was finish, beating Matthews and Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal).  

 

Top 3 #RideLondon: 1. Tom Boonen 2. Mark Renshaw 3. Michael Matthews. @jensdebus finished fourth! Well done mate!

@Lotto_Soudal Sun, 31st Jul 2016 17:30:19

That was a great day of racing, confirming that the peloton should never give up if it has the desire and numbers to chase a break. 

 

Thomas made a huge effort out front after going away from the break but the peloton got organised just in time and cruely caught him in the final kilometres. 

 

This is the top ten.

 

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 04:43:56
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
4 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
7 Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team
8 Tobyn Horton (GBr) Madison Genesis
9 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling
10 Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 

 

.@tomboonen1 at 35 years: two wins in the space of a week: @TDWsport #WayToRide https://t.co/rvTXSjk1er">https://t.co/ddMEjy7h4w Photo: @TDWsport #WayToRide https://t.co/rvTXSjk1er

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 31st Jul 2016 17:38:05

Boonen was tired but happy after winning. 

 

 

"We went full on all day. I was dropped two times and punctured one time and got stuck behind some guys who were dropped, so it took a lot of energy to get back on," he said.

 

"At the point I got back on in the group, there were 80 guys in there. We did an incredible job chasing everyone one and then got ready for the sprint in the last five kilometres."

 

"I felt confident because I did a few sprints last week and so I’m happy with this win. It’s the first rime in a while that I’ve beaten these guys. It’s looking good for the next few races."
 

 

Boonen also talked about his sprint effort that gave him the win.

 

"When I was here in the Olympics, it was a very hard course to ride on. Once you get dropped its very hard to chase on the narrow roads. It takes time to get back the attacks," he said.

 

"In the finale it was just the strongest guys up there. But it took everybody to catch it back. When we came to the last corner, I was waiting for the perfect moment and I was passing some guys who didn’t have speed and then I saw the inside line and so decided to ride and see what happens. I had the legs to finish it off.”
 

 

Boonen took the glory and stood on the top step of the podium in London. 

 

It was Boonen's 11th official individual victory. And one of his best since he won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders in 2012.  

 

Here's a recent image of Boonen in action. We'll have a full photo gallery soon on Cyclingnews.

 

 

Geraint Thomas was gutted to be caught in finale. He admitted he had gone deep and was in pain after the finish. Thomas finished 78th in the peloton.

 

“We wanted to race hard, so when me and Stannard went across to the group, it was all good. Then on at Box Hill I wanted to test everyone & maybe get rid of a few people but I ended up on my own. It was like ‘Sugar!’ I’d bought my ticket then and I just had to bite the bullet and go,” he said.

 

“But it was tough, I could have done with somebody to give me a turn and a breather. Everything started to hurt towards the end - my back, my legs. Unfortunately I was caught with five kilometres to go. I knew I was always going to be up against it with a lot of strong teams behind me.”

“That’s the pro peloton for you. When they ride hard and a couple of sprinters’ teams commit, you’ve got be super strong to hold them off. If I’d maybe stayed with the group longer and gone with 25km to go instead of 50km, I might have had more of chance. But it’s great to race here in Britain."

 

 

 

Thomas can perhaps enjoy a beer and an early night after his big effort. Tomorrow he has to get on a plane and fly to Rio for the Olympics. 

 

We have the first images of Boonen's victory in London.

 

 

This wider image shows how Boonen won the sprint ahead of Renshaw and Matthews.

 

 

 

Boonen was rightly happy to be back on top in a big one-day race. 

 

 

For a full race report and photo gallery, check out or race page by clicking here.

 

That's about it for our full live coverage of the RideLondon Classic. It was a great race and a great conclusion to a great weekend of racing and riding in the British capital.   

 

Check out Cyclingnews for our other race coverage, with news and reports from across the sport.   

 

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