2023 RideLondon Classique – Stage 1 Race Report

How the race finished

Charlotte Kool (DSM) won the opening stage of the RideLondon Classique after a number of riders including fast finisher Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) crashed out. Clara Copponi (FDJ-Suez) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) completed the podium.

Full results are available below.

How it happened

The opening stage of this year’s RideLondon Classique took the peloton over 150km from Saffron Walden to Colchester. A face-paced stage earmarked for a sprint finish, many teams tried their hand at finding an opportunity to get up the road in the hopes of wearing the first leader’s jersey.
Hannah Johansson (Torelli) and Francesca Morgans-Slader (AWOL O’Shea) initiated the early break of the day, and were joined by Danni Shrosbree (DAS-Handsling).

The trio soaked up a number of the available QoM and Sprint points, with Shrosbree picking up the majority of the QoM points to put her into the jersey tomorrow. Behind them, the chasing bunch was a little nervous, and a number of crashes hampered the riders. Those affected included fast finishes Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), Arianna Fidanza (Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling) and Gladys Verhulst (FDJ-Suez), all of whom unfortunately had to pull out of the race. Chloe Dygert (Canyon//Sram Racing) was also affected, and had to spent a lonely 30 kilometres chasing back to the main peloton.

With big names out of contention, and the game plan changed for a few of the teams. Trek-Segafredo, who probably would have backed Balsamo in a bunch sprint, took on a much more attacking role. Lizzie Deignan found a gap and split the group, with thirteen riders off the front. Canyon//Sram committed to the move, as Dygert, who had found her way back to the peloton, bridged fast-finisher Maike van der Duin up to the front. Soraya Paladin drove hard on the front, and it was soon clear that the chasing peloton didn’t quite have the legs to make the catch.

As they approached Colchester, Pfeiffer Georgi (DSM) came to the front to take on her classic lead out role, looking to put Charlotte Kool into a position to take the win. It was Clara Copponi, however, who found an opportunity to surprise the other and launch the sprint. Kool took the challenge, swinging out with a huge turn of pace to secure the win. Perfectly positioned on her wheel, Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) came through for third. Canyon//Sram, who had done a bulk of the work to keep the move away, lost each other in the sprint, with van der Duin managing fourth across the line.

Stage One – Full Results

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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