Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quickstep) sprinted to victory at the Prudential RideLondon Classic today. He took the win ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quickstep).
With this year’s RideLondon Classic going over Box Hill 5 times, there was some thinking that the sprinters might not have it all their own way. However, with so many strong sprinters from different teams at the start, their was a common interest to have a mass sprint finale.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was looking to 3rd place finisher from last year, Giacomo Nizzolo to be in contention with Ryan Gibbons and Mark Renshaw also on hand to play a role in the final. Our trio received good support from the rest of our team in getting them to fast final 10km of today’s 170km race.
From the 10km to go point it was a big fight for position among a number of different sprint teams. It was very difficult for any team to keep their trains together and as a result, a crash occurred with 2km to go. Fortunately both Nizzolo and Gibbons were able to get around the crash, and still contest for the win.
Deceuninck-Quickstep timed the final sprint perfectly and Viviani took the victory. Nizzolo did well to come home in 6th place, this being his first race back after his hard crash at the Tour de France. Gibbons snuck into the top 20 too, by crossing the line in 18th.
“It was a hard a stressful race like it usually is on these small roads. With the climbs of Box Hill it made the bunch even more nervous. On the final climb of Box Hill a group of 25 – 30 riders was going clear, so I spent some energy to cross over to them. It all came back together though and then it was all in for the sprint. In the sprint I managed to be in a good position with 1km to go but the speed was really super fast. I maybe waited to long to move out and overtake the guys in front of me, because when I moved it was already only 100m to go and there wasn’t time to overtake. So for this reason I am not super happy with the result, I think I could’ve got more but okay, overall after the crash at the Tour I am happy with today’s performance. It is a result that gives me morale for the next appointments.” – Giacomo Nizzolo