The RideLondon Classique may have been extended by two days to incorporate two road stages, but it is still very much a sprinter’s paradise.
It was a tightly-controlled race on the roads of Essex, with no break being let go for over half of the race. Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won the first intermediate sprint in Maldon with 38km to go after which Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) was the only rider to attack and stay away.
Henderson held off the peloton for over 30km, picking up maximum points on both Spring Elms Lane QOMs meaning she will wear the climber’s jersey tomorrow. With Team DSM, Liv Racing Xstra and Trek-Segafredo working to close the gap down, not even the British national time trial champion could stay in front and she was caught with 250m to go.
After a break from racing after Paris Roubaix Femmes (with the exception of GP Eco-Struct earlier this month), Wiebes took a convincing win in Maldon, crossing the line bike lengths ahead of world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar).
Wiebes will wear the leader’s jersey going into Saturday’s second road stage, which is also expected to culminate in a sprint finish.
RideLondon Classique (2.WWT) Maldon → Maldon
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