Thrilling Day of Racing at RideLondon - Surrey Classic31. July 2016, London (GBR) — Road Team
Today’s RideLondon - Surrey Classic was anything but predictable with the race neutralized early into the day, last minute attacks and a final chase from the peloton bringing the race to a final bunch sprint on the Mall.
The defending champion, Jempy Drucker, was part of the day’s successful breakaway which was able to gain an advantage early in the race of 3 minutes 50 seconds. However their lead was not to extend any further as the race was put on pause after just 53 kilometers due to an earlier incident in the sportive event.
As the racing resumed, the gap to the breakaway started to come down as the pace being set behind them saw the peloton split and four riders make it off the front to join them heading into the final 65 kilometers of the day.
When the breakaway headed onto Box Hill, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) went on the attack in what looked like a winning move. Drucker, who was rewarded with the title of King of Mountains after his day at the front of the race, and the remaining breakaway riders were eventually reeled in before the peloton caught Thomas in the heart of London with just five kilometers to go.
With 500 meters to go the bunch sprint was inevitable with Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) ultimately taking victory and BMC Racing Team’s Floris Gerts showing he still had something extra in the legs to cross the line seventh.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Sports Director Max Sciandri said: “Right from the beginning of the race we knew that we needed to be on the offensive as there were a lot of strong sprinters racing. With teams of six it is a little bit harder to control the race but everyone was really active today. After Box Hill when the peloton knew there was only 50 kilometers of flat road into London, that’t definitely when the sprinter’s teams took some time to see who was there and start to organize themselves for the chase. At the end of the day, I’m happy with how everyone rode! We had a strong rider with Jempy in the break but at the end the run in was just a bit too fast for us to try and attack.”
Floris Gerts said: “To say it was chaotic at the end there would be an understatement. Our job was really to go out there and make it a hard race, like we did last year, and I think Jempy did a really good race riding aggressively right from the start of the race. When the race came back together right at the end my legs were feeling good and I thought it would be good to try something. As a team we obviously wanted to win but in the end I am happy with my performance and the whole team rode well.”
Jempy Drucker said: “It wasn’t necessarily the plan for me to go into the breakaway so early on but I went with the move and it was working pretty well, we almost made it to finish. With only six riders in a team you never know what way the race will end so it was actually quite a good thing to be up there and not having to fight for position. We tried our best to give it a go and stay up in front. I was feeling good in the break and for my first race after a bit of a break from racing and some solid training, I’m going to go into my upcoming races with a lot of confidence.”
RideLondon - Surrey Classic
One day race / 202.3km
Top 3: 1. Tom Boonen (Etixx - Quick Step) 2. Mark Renshaw (Team Dimension Data) 3. Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 7. Floris Gerts 45. Daniel Oss 51. Marcus Burghardt