How the Race Finished
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) reaffirmed that she is currently untouchable in a sprint, taking the third stage and the general classification of RideLondon; she repeated what Demi Vollering did at Itzulia Women, taking all three stages and the general classification. Wiebes had a perfect lead-out from DSM, keeping herself anonymous for most of the race, and then bursting out ahead of everyone else, with a powerful acceleration that couldn’t be matched. Balsamo and Kopecky were left to fight for second.
The Main Action
The final stage was a criterium-like course, with fast laps around central London. It was a highly attritional race. SD Worx – who hadn’t been particularly visible in the first two stages of RideLondon – pushed hard in the opening half, with their whole team stretched out on the front of the peloton, winnowing down the group and sending riders out the back. From then on, Marlen Reusser was a constant presence on the front, driving the pace. At one point, the trio of Marlen Reusser, Lotte Kopecky, and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak nearly rode off the front together.
In the first few laps, there were several short-lived breakaways: AG Insurance NXTG and FDJ – Nouvelle Aquitaine were frequent attackers, but no group was ever allowed much leeway. A breakaway of Amber Kraak (Jumbo-Visma), Julia Borgstrom (AG Insurance – NXTG) and Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar Travel & Service) took the first intermediate sprint between them, but were soon caught. Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) won the second intermediate sprint, raising the question of whether she’d be able to challenge Wiebes for the stage win.
There was a late breakaway from Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance – NXTG); she was first accompanied by Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education – Tibco – SVB), but then dropped her, and made a valiant attempt to go it alone. She was hanging out in front of the peloton, a few seconds ahead, in the final lap, but the strength of the sprinters’ teams was too much, and they swallowed her up.
In the final kilometres, as the teams lined up in preparation for the sprint, Valcar Travel & Service, Jumbo Visma, Trek-Segafredo and SD Worx all made appearances on the front of the peloton. In the end, though, it was DSM who could deliver Wiebes perfectly to the line. She kept behind her leadout-woman, and then sprung forward, delivering a fatal burst of acceleration that no other rider could match. She came to the line alone, head and shoulders above the rest.
As for the general classification, the podium is unchanged from yesterday: Wiebes won, followed by Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) in second, and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) in third. The rest of the positions mainly went to sprinters who’d managed to sweep up bonus seconds. There were several smaller teams represented: Julia Borgstrom in eighth for AG-Insurance NXTG, Jesse Vadenbulcke in ninth for Le Col – Wahoo, and Simone Boilard in tenth for St Michel – Auber 93. Valcar Travel & Service had two in the top ten, with Chiara Consonni in fifth and Silvia Persico in seventh. With this, they also won the team classification.
Anna Henderson (Jumbo – Visma) secured the mountains classification yesterday, and only had to finish the race today to take the jersey home; she also took best British rider.
Vittora Guazzini (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), leader of the young rider classification for the first two days, dropped out only a few kilometres into the race; instead it was Julia Borgstrom (NXTG), who was involved in several moves during the stage, who took it.