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by Jeanine Laudy
July 31, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
With 100,000 Euro in prize money, the biggest prize purse of the world, the Prudential RideLondon Classique once again attracted a star studded field, despite the fact that the event is held only days before the start of the Olympics.
Even Kirsten Wild (Team Hitec), who’s going to Rio on track and decided to sit out last week’s La Course by le TDF, lined up in London today. With a mass sprint imminent, she didn’t want to pass the chance of winning a record amount of prize money.
This turned out to be a good decision as she won the London race with ease. Wild didn’t show her face until the final 500 meters and didn’t let anyone pass her in the sprint to the line.
The 12 laps on the 5.5 kilometer circuit, beginning on The Mall in St James’s Park, taking on Constitution Hill, passing Big Ben, on to Whitehall, the Strand and Trafalgar Square, made for some spectacular racing in the heart of the British capital.
Special cheers were there for British champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM), who was proud to wear the outfit in London today as “the Rapha headquarters are [in London] and this is really nice because they have designed a really great looking British national jersey for our Canyon-SRAM team and I can’t wait to show it off”, she said in a preview of this race.
Rabo-Liv made it an aggressive race, with lots of attacks from different riders of the team. Lucinda Brand took the first intermediate sprint, with Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) winning the second one and Sarah Roy (Orica-AIS) the third. Brand was crowned Queen of the sprint, taking home 3,000 euro in prize money.
Several breakaways were formed during the race, but nothing stayed, and it came to a bunch sprint to determine the winner of the third ever women’s Prudential Ride London.
And when there’s a bunch sprint with Wild in the peloton, she’s always one to watch. That’s what everyone did; they saw her pass the line before anyone else, with a smart sprint by compatriots Nina Kessler (Lensworld-Zannata) and Brand too, finishing second and fourth respectively.
With her podium spot, Kirchmann moves up to third in the Women’s WorldTour ranking, while Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg) is back in third place in the youngster classification, after finishing 14th in London.
1. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) – 886
2. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) – 545
3. Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) – 542
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) – 493
5. Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) – 484
Young rider classification
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) – 30
2. Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) – 18
3. Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg) – 14
In honour of this Prudential RideLondon weekend, thanks to Zwift‘s collaboration with the organisers, the Zwift community is now able to ride the newly launched 3D virtual world of London, like the riders of the Prudential RideLondon Classique did today in real life.
There is a 14.1 kilometer (8.7 mile) ‘gamified’ loop, which connects the urban roads of London to the tranquility of the Surrey countryside (including Box Hill), whilst another course is a like-for-like representation of the UCIWWT Prudential RideLondon Classique loop. Extensions of the London world are planned for future release.
To celebrate the launch, there is a PrudentialRide London 100 Group ride on Sunday July 31 8.00 a.m. AEST, plus a 46 Group ride at 8.00 p.m. AEST.
The Women’s WorldTour continues with the Vargarda road race and team time trial after the Olympics.