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Alexander Kristoff wins RideLondon Classic

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Alexander Kristoff wins the RideLondon Classic.

Alexander Kristoff wins the RideLondon Classic.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ben Swift before the RideLondon Classic

Ben Swift before the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vegard Stake Laengen pushing the pace at the RideLondon Classic

Vegard Stake Laengen pushing the pace at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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André Greipel in the bunch at the RideLondon Classic

André Greipel in the bunch at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A small split group pushing it on a climb midway through the RideLondon Classic

A small split group pushing it on a climb midway through the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Declercq back with the team car at the RideLondon Classic

Tim Declercq back with the team car at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Preben Van Hecke with a mechanical at the RideLondon Classic

Preben Van Hecke with a mechanical at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rick Zabel at the RideLondon Classic

Rick Zabel at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The back of the RideLondon peloton

The back of the RideLondon peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Declercq at the RideLondon Classic

Tim Declercq at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Paul Martens at the RideLondon Classic

Paul Martens at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The RideLondon peloton making its way up a climb

The RideLondon peloton making its way up a climb
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The RideLondon peloton

The RideLondon peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sky setting tempo at the RideLondon Classic

Sky setting tempo at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff before the RideLondon Classic

Alexander Kristoff before the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Israel Cycling Academy at the RideLondon Classic team presentation

Israel Cycling Academy at the RideLondon Classic team presentation
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sky at the RideLondon Classic team presentation

Team Sky at the RideLondon Classic team presentation
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen prior to the RideLondon Classic

Oliver Naesen prior to the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Manuel Quinziato at the RideLondon Classic

Manuel Quinziato at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The RideLondon Classic

The RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton picks up the pace at the RideLondon Classic

The peloton picks up the pace at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The pack riding through countryside at the RideLondon Classic

The pack riding through countryside at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sky at the head of the RideLondon peloton

Sky at the head of the RideLondon peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The RideLondon peloton

The RideLondon peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katusha-Alpecin enjoying a well-deserved celebration after the RideLondon Classic

Katusha-Alpecin enjoying a well-deserved celebration after the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Winner Alexander Kristoff flanked by runner-up Magnus Cort Nielsen and third-placed Michael Matthews at the RideLondon Classic

Winner Alexander Kristoff flanked by runner-up Magnus Cort Nielsen and third-placed Michael Matthews at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The race podium at the RideLondon Classic

The race podium at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin, Jasper Stuyven and Daryl Impey up the road in the late goings of the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin, Jasper Stuyven and Daryl Impey up the road in the late goings of the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin finds some space at the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin finds some space at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen at the RideLondon Classic

Oliver Naesen at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julien Berard at the RideLondon Classic

Julien Berard at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The breakaway at the RideLondon Classic

The breakaway at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The start line of the 2017 RideLondon Classic

The start line of the 2017 RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff on the RideLondon Classic podium

Alexander Kristoff on the RideLondon Classic podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Runner-up Magnus Cort Nielsen after the RideLondon Classic

Runner-up Magnus Cort Nielsen after the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katusha-Alpecin after a successful RideLondon Classic

Katusha-Alpecin after a successful RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC Racing after the RideLondon Classic

BMC Racing after the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pete Kennaugh puts in a dig at the RideLondon Classic.

Pete Kennaugh puts in a dig at the RideLondon Classic.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pete Kennaugh applying pressure at the RideLondon Classic

Pete Kennaugh applying pressure at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin, Daryl Impey and Pete Kennaugh on the move at the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin, Daryl Impey and Pete Kennaugh on the move at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin, Daryl Impey and Pete Kennaugh up the road at the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin, Daryl Impey and Pete Kennaugh up the road at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin and Jasper Stuyven in a late escape at the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin and Jasper Stuyven in a late escape at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews on the podium after his RideLondon Classic third-place finish

Michael Matthews on the podium after his RideLondon Classic third-place finish
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Trentin at the RideLondon Classic

Matteo Trentin at the RideLondon Classic
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff wins the RideLondon Classic.

Alexander Kristoff wins the RideLondon Classic.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff celebrates a RideLondon victory.

Alexander Kristoff celebrates a RideLondon victory.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) sprinted to victory at the RideLondon Classic on Sunday, beating Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) to the line on The Mall.

The sprinters' teams left it until late to marshal escapees Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) but ultimately made the catch with a kilometre to go to set up a bunch finish.

Bora-Hansgrohe led the pack into the final 500 metres for Sam Bennett, with the final lead-out man peeling off with around 250 metres to go as Bennett launched his effort. The Irishman couldn't fend off his surging rivals, however, with Kristoff pulling past on his right to take a commanding lead that he held all the way across the line to triumph in the event's first running as a WorldTour race.

Cort Nielsen made a late push to finish a close second, with Matthews settling for third ahead of a surprising Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac).

Kristoff's victory – his second at the WorldTour level this season after Eschborn-Frankfurt – will be a welcome change of pace for the Norwegian on the heels of a frustrating Tour de France, where he was unable to win a stage. It comes at a time of uncertainty as well, with Kristoff undecided on whose kit he'll wear next season after his current contract with Katusha runs out at the end of this year.

"We weren't able to win at all in the Tour, so we wanted to bounce back today," Kristoff said. "Today we showed we still have a good level and everybody was committed. I knew this course and knew it suited me quite well."

How it unfolded

The 183-kilometre race started and finished in central London, but much of the ride took place on a lumpy parcours on the outskirts of the city, with five short but relatively steep official climbs on the day.

Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha), Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale), Twan Castelijns (LottoNL-Jumbo), Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) formed the early break, moving clear as the race headed out of town. They worked their gap up to around four minutes before the peloton tightened the leash and gradually began pulling them back in, with Sunweb putting in much of the work at the front.

Eventually, Duval and Kreder were dropped, leaving a trio of Keisse, Castelijns and Schmidt up the road. Their gap was down to two minutes with 95 kilometres to go, and it continued to fall rapidly as the pack revved up the pace for the second trip up the Ranmore climb. The catch was made shortly thereafter, but that only spurred further action in the bunch, with Sky applying serious pressure at the head of affairs.

A flurry of attacks and counterattacks saw splits open in the pack and a small group get clear over the climb, with Sky's Pete Kennaugh jumping away with Trentin and Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott). Kennaugh dropped off the back of the move before long, but he was replaced in the lead trio by a bridging Stuyven, who caught up on the next climb as the peloton regrouped behind.

The trio of Impey, Trentin and Stuyven never had much more than half a minute's advantage, but their gap remained relatively steady as the kilometres ticked down and the race headed back into central London. The move would ultimately stay clear for nearly an hour, although Impey fell off the pace with around 15 kilometres to go.

Trentin and Stuyven pressed on, and despite having a gap of only around 20 seconds, they made it all the way through the final corners only to be caught by a hungry peloton with a kilometre to go.

Although Bora controlled the sprint into the last few hundred metres, Kristoff was well-placed only a few positions behind Bennett, and he quickly pulled even once Bennett opened his sprint. The Katusha rider surged to the front as Bennett began to fade, and held off Cort Nielsen for the win.

"The team did amazing work today, especially Nils [Politt] to pull back those guys. There were not many teams who wanted to work with us so we did the main job and pulled it off at the end," Kristoff said.

"After my crash in the Tour I did not feel so good and not in training either, but today it was ok. I could not really follow on the climb, but I felt much better than I did at the Tour. I knew I had a good shot and at the end Michael Mørkøv placed me very well for the final and I just had to take it from there."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin4:45:41
2Magnus Cort Neilson (Den) Orica-Scott
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
4Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
5Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
6Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
7Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
8Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
9Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
11Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
12Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors
13Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
14Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
15Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
16Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
17Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
18Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
19Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
20Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
21Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
22Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
23Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
24Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
25Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
26Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
27Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
28Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
29Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
30Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
31Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
32Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team LottNl-Jumbo
33Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
34André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
35Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina
36Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
37Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
38Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
39Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
40Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
41Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
42Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
43Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
44Julen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina
45Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
46Jon Irisarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
47Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
48Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
49Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
50Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
51Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
52Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
53Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:11
54Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:14
55Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-Scott
56Michael Morkov (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
57Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
58Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:24
59Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:37
60Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
61Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
62Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
63Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:59
64Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb
65Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
66Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky0:01:08
67Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:17
68Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:01:19
69Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
70Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott0:01:25
71Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:01:34
72Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:01:45
73Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:05:21
74Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:09:04
75Stijn Steels (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
76Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
77Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
78Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-Scott
79Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
80Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
81Mirko Trosino (Ita) Wilier Triestina
82Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:13:01
83Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:13:10
84Matthew Brammeier (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
85Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
86José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
87Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
88William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
89Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
90Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
91Raffaello Bonusi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
92Josu Zabala (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
93Dylan Page (Swi) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
94Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
95Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
96Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky
97Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
98Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
99Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
100Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
101Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
102Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
103Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
104Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
105Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:17:18
106Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
OTLNathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:23:44
OTLMads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
OTLMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
OTLMarco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
OTLMaximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
OTLAlberto Cecchin (Ita) Wilier Triestina
OTLJames Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal
OTLGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
OTLGuy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
OTLJan Bárta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe
OTLPascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
OTLJason Lowndes (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
OTLMiles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
DNFMichal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFPiet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFDries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFBert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFReto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina
DNFJakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina
DNFAlex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina
DNFLuca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFMatteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFPeter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFMartyn Irvine (Ire) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFLars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFMark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFRobin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFPiotr Brozyna (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFTom Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

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