Tom Boonen takes the victory in RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) continued his great start to the second half of the season by riding to a dominant win in the biggest British one-day race, RideLondon Classic.
After a great solo ride by Geraint Thomas (Sky) was neutralized by Orica-BikeExchange and Boonen’s Etixx-QuickStep teammates, the Belgian freelanced in the sprint and was lucky to find the gap that allowed him to power past Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) and Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchanage) who had to settle for the minor spots on the podium.
The race was delayed due to two major incidents in the RideLondon 100 Sportive, which required the use of the air ambulance and a temporary diversion to be put in place – causing a backlog on the route.
Defending champion Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing) was one of four men left in the day’s break when Team Sky began to attack from the Peloton.
Drucker and Madison-Genesis’ Matt Holmes shared the mountains prize for the day, having earned an identical number of points in the Surrey Hills, but Thomas, team-mate Ian Stannard and Cannondale-Drapac’s Pat Bevin had already closed in on the quartet before the ascent of Box Hill.
And it was on the climb when Geriant Thomas attacked and, with no other rider for support, forged on solo with 65km to race.
Stannard worked in the breakaway to close down any counter-attacks and Thomas held a steady one-minute advantage as the race headed back into central London.
Chris Froome himself enjoyed riding at this year’s event which he felt was the perfect preparation for the Olympic 60km time trial and road race competitions next week.
He said: “It was an amazing atmosphere on the road, even compared to the Tour de France. The roads were just jammed."
“I felt good and it was a great little opener for me before Rio.!
“Prudential RideLondon is a great event. It’s fantastic getting people to come out on the same roads as us in the morning. It shows how far the sport has come in Britain.”
RideLondon Classic 2016 results:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step 4:43:56
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