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Boonen wins RideLondon Classic

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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Paddy Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac) make their move

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Paddy Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac) make their move (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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Tom Boonen celebrates 2016 RideLondon Classic victory on The Mall

Tom Boonen celebrates 2016 RideLondon Classic victory on The Mall (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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The Team Sky squad pose for a selfie

The Team Sky squad pose for a selfie (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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Jempy Drucker (BMC), Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural)

Jempy Drucker (BMC), Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural) (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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2015 winner Jempy Drucker (BMC) was awarded the KOM prize

2015 winner Jempy Drucker (BMC) was awarded the KOM prize (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural) won the sprint prize

Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural) won the sprint prize (Image credit: Prudential RideLondon)
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The sprint winds up for the finale

The sprint winds up for the finale
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The final podium: Mark Renshaw, Tom Boonen and Michael Matthews

The final podium: Mark Renshaw, Tom Boonen and Michael Matthews
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) wins a difficult RideLondon Classic

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) wins a difficult RideLondon Classic
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A crash in the field sees riders go down at RideLondon Classic

A crash in the field sees riders go down at RideLondon Classic
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The day's breakaway on the climb at RideLondon Classic

The day's breakaway on the climb at RideLondon Classic
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Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) tries to get to the finish line ahead of the sprinters

Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) tries to get to the finish line ahead of the sprinters
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Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
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Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Solo breakaway rider Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
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Etixx-QuickStep leads the field into the finale at RideLondon Classic

Etixx-QuickStep leads the field into the finale at RideLondon Classic
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) wins RideLondon Classic

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) wins RideLondon Classic
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) on the podium at RideLondon Classic

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) on the podium at RideLondon Classic
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic

Chris Froome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) signs autographs at RideLondon Classic

Chris Froome (Team Sky) signs autographs at RideLondon Classic
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic

Chris Froome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic
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Team Sky and Cannondale-Drapac

Team Sky and Cannondale-Drapac
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The field is lined out at RideLondon Classic

The field is lined out at RideLondon Classic
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Riders wait at the side of the road after being neutralized during RideLondon Classic

Riders wait at the side of the road after being neutralized during RideLondon Classic
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Riders are neutralized and wait to restart their race

Riders are neutralized and wait to restart their race
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Riders wait for the race to re-start after being neutralized due to a crash up the road in the cyclo-sportif event

Riders wait for the race to re-start after being neutralized due to a crash up the road in the cyclo-sportif event
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Chris Foome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic

Chris Foome (Team Sky) at RideLondon Classic

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) paid back his teammates for their hard working during RideLondon Classic, winning the sprint on The Mall in central London, after they chased down Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) after he made a 50km solo break away.

Boonen timed his effort perfectly, letting other sprinters go first on the wide finish. He tucked up along the barriers and found the speed to come through and hit the line first.

Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) beat fellow Australian Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) to take second, with Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) taking fourth.

Team Sky anticipated their rivals by attacking early in the Surrey hills with 90km to race and that split the race. Thomas and Ian Stannard joined the break of the day and then sparked their own attack on the other hills. Thomas hit alone and looked set to win it but the peloton spoilt his day, giving Boonen a big win.

"We went full on all day," Boonen said. "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. At the point I got back on in the group, there were 80 guys in there. We did an incredible job chasing everyone 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 time in a while that I've beaten these guys. It's looking good for the next few races."

How it unfolded

The RideLondon Classic got underway on The Mall in downtown London on Sunday at Horse Guards Parade. Parts of the lumpy 200km course was used in the 2012 London Olympics making it an iconic route. The race offered the field a series of intermediate challenges with mountain points available at Leith Hill (76.4km), Ranmore Common (93.7km, 112.8km and 132.1km) and Box Hill Summit (150.5km).

There were also intermediate sprints points available at Dorking (86.9km, 106.1km, 125,4km, 144.5km) and in Wimbledon at 187.8km, before heading toward the finish line on The Mall.

A breakaway got underway with Jempy Drucker (BMC), Jens Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen), Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), Dexter Gardias (Pedal Heaven), Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural).

The six riders quickly picked up a three-minute advantage that continued to push out to nearly four minutes but they were disrupted by an unexpected neutralization at roughly 50km into the race.

Two separate crashes happened up the road during the RideLondon 100 cyclo-sportif event that resulted in two injured, one being taken to hospital. The event officials temporarily closed the circuit near Dorking and the cyclo-sportif event was stopped for about 45 minutes.

The pro men's race was stopped further back for about 20 minutes. Once the road way was cleared, race directors set the six original breakaway riders off to re-start the race, and when they reached their original gap of roughly 3:50, the peloton resumed racing as well. Team Sky riders again positioned themselves at the front to control the chase and set a fast tempo behind.

Drucker and Holmes picked up 20 points each in the KOM competition, tying for the top prize, while Wallays finished in third with 18 points.

Tactics almost pay off for Team Sky over Ranmore Common

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) jumped away from the field led by his teammates in full-offensive mode over Ranmore Common. Behind him, teammates Chris Froome, Ian Stannard tried to launch themselves forward to bridge across to Thomas. The move effectively put the powerful team Etixx-QuickStep and Orica-BikeExchange, and many other teams out of the race.

While Froome dropped back, Stannard and Thomas along with Pat Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac) joined one another and pushed on to bridge the 40-second gap to the four remaining breakaway riders: Drucker, Wallays, Lastras and Holmes. The two groups connected with 65km to go.

A 30-rider group behind included Froome, four riders from Dimension Data and a couple of riders from Etixx-QuickStep, but they were over three minutes back and there was no concerted effort to chase the leading seven, indicating that the race behind was seemingly over.

The breakaway hit the bottom of Box Hill for the last KOM sprint, located about 50 km from the finish line. Thomas made a big acceleration and held the faster speeds up the beginning of the climb. He opened a gap as splits in the group formed and Lastras fell off pace.

Over the top of Box Hill, Thomas went into time trial mode and picked up 40 seconds, looked under his arm to see what kind of a gap he had, but saw no one behind him.

Bevin and Drucker desperately tried to minimize the damage by pushing the speeds of the chase group but Thomas' lead increased to nearly one minute with 25km to go.

Thomas' tactical move effectively gave Stannard an armchair ride in the chase group during the last quarter of the race back toward The Mall.

Meanwhile, on the flatter sections back to the finish line under 20km to go, the main field that included Froome, pushed on and closed down the gap to the within one minute to the five chasers: Drucker, Wallays, Lastras and Holmes and Stannard.

Just as the gap between the chase group and the main field looked like it might close down, Stannard attacked and cleared his companions, in a solo pursuit of his teammate Thomas.

In the main field all hesitation ended as Lotto Soudal, Orica-BikeExchange and Etixx-QuickStep among other sprint teams organized themselves at the front and reeled in Drucker, Lastras, Wallays and Holmes, but there were still two Team Sky riders still, separately, up the road and headed toward the finish line for the top two places on the podium.

Their strong team efforts would not last, however, as Stannard looked over his shoulder and saw that his time out front had come to an end. The field charged past him in pursuit of Thomas and caught him inside five kilometres to go, setting up for a bunch kick with Boonen taking the win on The Mall.

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

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step4:43:55
2Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
4Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
7Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team
8Tobyn Horton (GBr) Madison Genesis
9Steele von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling
10Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
12Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
13Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor
14Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
15Dylan Page (Swi) Team Roth
16Lander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
17Jake Kelly (GBr) Team WIGGINS
18Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
19Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
20Miguel Angel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
21Samuel Lowe (GBr) Team WIGGINS
22Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
23Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) An Post-Chainreaction
24Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO
25Huub Duyn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
26Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
27Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor
28Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison Genesis
29Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
30Adrià Moreno Sala (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac
31Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Team Raleigh Gac
32Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
33Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF
34Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
35Steven Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor
36Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
37Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
38Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
39Jack Pullar (GBr) Pedal Heaven
40Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO
41Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
42Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
43Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
44Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
45Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
46Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
47Matt Brammeier (Irl) Dimension Data
48Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
49Michael Thompson (GBr) Team WIGGINS
50Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
51Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
52Marc Demaar (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
53Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac
54Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
55Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
56Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
57Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction
58Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor
59Samuel Harrison (GBr) Team WIGGINS
60Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
61Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
62Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
63Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor0:00:16
64Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
65Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
66Pawel Charucki (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team0:00:19
67Reinier Honig (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:00:20
68Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data
69Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis
70Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
71Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:24
72Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:28
73Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis0:00:40
74Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:00:50
75Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:00:55
76Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:02
77Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling0:01:51
78Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:02:37
79Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team0:03:33
80Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
81Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:03:46
82Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data0:03:54
83Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-BikeExchange0:04:35
84Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-BikeExchange
85Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
86Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
87Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis
88Conor Dunne (Irl) JLT Condor
89Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:06:56
90Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:46
91Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WIGGINS
92Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO0:10:54
93Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac0:13:02
94Dexter Gardias (GBr) Pedal Heaven0:13:53
95Joshua Hunt (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling0:15:32
96Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:17:10
97Max Stedman (GBr) Pedal Heaven0:19:15
98Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Drapac0:19:59
99Pawel Franczak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team0:20:42
100Lukas Jaun (Swi) Team Roth
101Steven Roach (GBr) Team Raleigh Gac
102Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
103Will Fox (GBr) Pedal Heaven
104James Gullen (GBr) Pedal Heaven
105Lucas Gaday Orozco (Arg) Team Roth
106Marco D'urbano (Ita) Team Roth
107Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction
DNFEmiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
DNFOliver Ket-Spark (Aus) An Post-Chainreaction
DNFGrischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth
DNFTristan Marguet (Swi) Team Roth
DNFGruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison Genesis
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFFrederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFHector Saez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFIker Azkarate Ramirez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFJack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFYanto Barker (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling
DNFPeter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
DNFDale Appleby (GBr) NFTO
DNFLiam Stones (GBr) NFTO
DNFRhys Lloyd (GBr) NFTO
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff Team
DNFDaniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFIan Field (GBr) Team Great Britain
DNFOliver Wood (GBr) Team Great Britain
DNFMatthew Gibson (GBr) Team Great Britain
DNFKai Reus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNFAlbert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac
DNFEvan Oliphant (GBr) Team Raleigh Gac
DNFKenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFRuben Pols (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFAndrew Tennant (GBr) Team WIGGINS
DNFDavide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFHamish Schreurs (NZl) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFPawel Bernas (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
DNFAdam Stachowiak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
DNFLukasz Bodnar (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
DNFStephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data
DNFKenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFJean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Stradalli - Bike Aid
DNFJoseph Areruya (Rwa) Team Rwanda
DNFJean Claude Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Team Rwanda
DNFSamuel Mugisha (Rwa) Team Rwanda
DNFAlex Paton (GBr) Pedal Heaven
DSQConnor McConvey (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction

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