Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) has won the RideLondon Classique in style, winning all three stages in the process. On the final stage, a criterium-like course through the centre of London, Wiebes was well-protected throughout the race and only came to the fore on the final lap. Led out by her teammates Pfeiffer Georgi and Charlotte Kool, the Dutch sprinter launched her sprint and led from the front.
Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) were unable to challenge her and finished second and third, respectively.
“As expected, it was a really fast circuit. There was a lot going on, but the team kept me safe. I was always protected by the girls, they did an amazing job today. We really showed ourselves as a team, especially in the lead out with Charlotte bringing me to the front and speeding up in the last 500 metres. This was really a team effort, without the team, it wouldn’t be possible,” said Wiebes.
Having won all three stages, Wiebes obviously won the race overall, too, defending her 2019 RideLondon Classique title. Time bonifications gave Wiebes a 19-second advantage over Balsamo, with third-placed Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) at 28 seconds.
How it unfolded
After two stages in Essex, the RideLondon Classique returned to London for the final stage. The 85.3 km stage started with two short laps followed by seven longer laps, passing landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bank Junction, and Blackfriars before finishing on the Victoria Embankment across the Thames from the London Eye. There were intermediate sprints after laps three and six.
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope and AG Insurance-NXTG were the most active teams, initiating or joining most of the attacks on the fast course, though most attacks were quickly shut down by the peloton. The first move to get any leeway occurred on the third lap when Julia Borgström (AG Insurance-NXTG), Amber Kraak (Team Jumbo-Visma), and Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar-Travel & Service) took off.
Carbonari won the intermediate sprint ahead of Borgström and Kraak, and as Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) had to abandon the race during the stage, the two bonus seconds put Borgström into the white U23 jersey, leapfrogging Simone Boilard (St. Michel-Auber 93).
The trio was reeled in again soon after, and no attacks got away on the next couple of laps until lap six, when Borgström and Boilard both made unsuccessful attempts to snatch the bonus seconds on offer in the second intermediate sprint. The sprint was won by Balsamo ahead of Chiara Consonni (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Norsgaard, Balsamo thanking her former teammate Consonni for squeezing past Norsgaard and thus protecting Balsamo’s second place overall.
On the penultimate lap, Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-NXTG) launched another attack and was joined by Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB). The duo held an advantage of up to 20 seconds, but Doebel-Hickok had to let Wollaston go just before the start of the final lap. The 21-year-old New Zealander eventually sat up too, being caught just under 8km from the finish.
In a hectic sprint run-in, teams battled for the best positions, and although they were never right at the front for a long time, Team DSM played their cards perfectly as Kool led out Wiebes on the final kilometre, launching her to the third stage win in a row.
Wiebes also takes home the points jersey while Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma) secured the QOM jersey and also finished as the best British rider.
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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.
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