Boonen wins RideLondon Classic
Team Sky's strong tactics fail to pay off
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."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||4:43:55|
|2||Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Tobyn Horton (GBr) Madison Genesis||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Steele von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Dylan Page (Swi) Team Roth||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Lander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Jake Kelly (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Miguel Angel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Samuel Lowe (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Huub Duyn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison Genesis||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Adrià Moreno Sala (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Team Raleigh Gac||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Steven Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Jack Pullar (GBr) Pedal Heaven||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Matt Brammeier (Irl) Dimension Data||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Michael Thompson (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Marc Demaar (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Samuel Harrison (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor||0:00:16|
|64||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Pawel Charucki (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||0:00:19|
|67||Reinier Honig (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||0:00:20|
|68||Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:00:24|
|72||Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:00:28|
|73||Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis||0:00:40|
|74||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team||0:00:50|
|75||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF||0:00:55|
|76||Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:01:02|
|77||Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling||0:01:51|
|78||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky||0:02:37|
|79||Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team||0:03:33|
|80||Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF||0:03:46|
|82||Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data||0:03:54|
|83||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-BikeExchange||0:04:35|
|84||Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-BikeExchange||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Conor Dunne (Irl) JLT Condor||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||0:06:56|
|90||Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:08:46|
|91||Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO||0:10:54|
|93||Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac||0:13:02|
|94||Dexter Gardias (GBr) Pedal Heaven||0:13:53|
|95||Joshua Hunt (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling||0:15:32|
|96||Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||0:17:10|
|97||Max Stedman (GBr) Pedal Heaven||0:19:15|
|98||Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Drapac||0:19:59|
|99||Pawel Franczak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||0:20:42|
|100||Lukas Jaun (Swi) Team Roth||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Steven Roach (GBr) Team Raleigh Gac||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Will Fox (GBr) Pedal Heaven||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||James Gullen (GBr) Pedal Heaven||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Lucas Gaday Orozco (Arg) Team Roth||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Marco D'urbano (Ita) Team Roth||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Emiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Oliver Ket-Spark (Aus) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tristan Marguet (Swi) Team Roth||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Gruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison Genesis||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Iker Azkarate Ramirez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yanto Barker (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Liam Stones (GBr) NFTO||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rhys Lloyd (GBr) NFTO||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff Team||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ian Field (GBr) Team Great Britain||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Oliver Wood (GBr) Team Great Britain||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Matthew Gibson (GBr) Team Great Britain||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kai Reus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Raleigh Gac||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Evan Oliphant (GBr) Team Raleigh Gac||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ruben Pols (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Andrew Tennant (GBr) Team WIGGINS||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Hamish Schreurs (NZl) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Pawel Bernas (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Adam Stachowiak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Stradalli - Bike Aid||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Team Rwanda||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jean Claude Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Team Rwanda||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Samuel Mugisha (Rwa) Team Rwanda||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alex Paton (GBr) Pedal Heaven||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DSQ||Connor McConvey (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction||Row 146 - Cell 2|
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Dario Cataldo suffers broken femur in Volta a Catalunya crashMultiple injuries for Italian but no 'neurological impact' from spinal fractures, Italian to undergo surgery
Adam Yates among the injured in crash-marred opener at Volta a CatalunyaHamilton, Storer, and Cataldo go down inside 6km from Sant Feliu de Guíxols finish line
How to watch the Classic Brugge-De Panne – live streamingMen's and women's pelotons head to Belgium for spring Classics sprint showdown this week
Scicon blasts Astana's 'ethics' as Mark Cavendish 'compromises' sponsorship deal'All sponsors of professional cycling should take note' says Scicon CEO