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by Mark Zalewski
July 31, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kristoff wins Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic; Rivera adds another win at Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic; Kwiatkowski sprints to win at Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian; Modolo sprints to win in Poland as van Poppel moves into lead; Sagan wins opening stage in Poland; Tragedy strikes during Transcontinental; Niewiadoma to join Canyon-SRAM in 2018; Tosatto joins Team Sky as sport director; Evans takes Subaru National Road Series lead; Amateur masters racer caught with motor in bike; Video: Morocco – Riding in the Atlas Mountains; Video: 2321 Bidons.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took an important sprint victory at the Prudential RideLondon, following a disappointing Tour de France for the sprinter, ahead of Magnus Cort Nielsen (ORICA-Scott) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb).
“We did not really go hard since we all just came from the Tour,” said Kristoff. “We had a little rest and a little partying –I usually race well after a little party!
I got the bronze in the Olympics here and I know the course well. We did not get too much help from other teams, a little from Sunweb, but we timed it well. I was on the edge a little at the end. It is quite a narrow corner and then it stretches out. I came through on the BORA train on Bennet’s wheel and I managed to hold off the guys behind me. It was quite a long way with the wind.”
Into the final 50km Daryl Impey (ORICA-Scott) and Mateo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) crested the top of Box Hill just ahead of a group of 14 chasers, with Jasper Stuyven Trek-Segafredo rider bridging. On the descent, with Stuyven now making it a trio, the gap bumped back up to around 15-20 seconds as they worked together, hoping the peloton would not organise. Indeed, the peloton was busy attacking itself with Sky and Sunweb trying to launch riders across as the race headed back to London. Aided by a strong tailwind the break slowly added time to its gap, reaching 25 seconds with 20km to go. But it did not take long for the gap to shrink as the sprinters’ teams smelled the finish line and began to finally organise their efforts. Katusha was the first to assemble on the front for their man Kristoff. At 15km to go the gap was down to 15 seconds and Impey was the first to pop on a small rise after pushing to keep the pace up.
Still the peloton let the remaining two dangle off the front for some time, leaving them with a 15 second gap as the race went into the final 5km. But at 2km to go, despite a lack of any lead-out trains organising, the gap was under ten seconds. Finally, ORICA-Scott managed to get four riders on the front heading into the final kilometre. But that organisation vanished in the final left turn before the Admiralty Arch and it was every man for himself into the headwind sprint. Kristoff followed Sam Bennett before launching his sprint, crossing the line shaking his fist, showing how much the win meant to him.