Stage one of the Ford RideLondon Classique ran from Saffron Walden to Colchester
Blue skies and headwinds greeted the riders today as they tackled the 150km from Saffron Walden Colchester in Essex. While some of the foreign riders may have been surprised by blue skies in Britain, the crowds came out to cheer the riders on. The Ford RideLondon Classique is under way!
First break of the day came from Francesca Morgans-Slader of team Awol O’Shea and Hanna Johansson of Team Torelli. They quickly built a 50 second break eight kilometres into the race. Two more riders – Scarlett Souren of Parkhotel Valkenburg and Daniele Shrosbree from Team Das Handsling – set off in pursuit. As the chasing duo drew closer towards the leaders, back in the bunch World Champion Elisa Balsamo from team Trek Segafredo was forced to abandon the race after she crashed two times.
After 60 kilometres Danielle Shrosbree has joined the leaders, the trio now have 1’50” over the peloton. The gap will grow to two minutes, but after a big crash at the rear of the peloton at 65 kilometres to go, the gap will start to shrink. They will still have time to contest the Sandy Hill QoM, which is taken by Hanna Johansson – who will go on to don the QoM jersey. Francesca Morgans-Slader is second and Danielle Shrosbree takes third.
The bunch is back together
4o kilometres to go and the bunch is all together again, the break absorbed. Lizzy Deignan of Trek-Segafredo tries to escape the clutches of the bunch, but is brought back. Deignan is too strong a rider to be allowed any leeway. A series of attacks over the following 15 kilometres leads to a break of fifteen riders pulling away.
With 15 kilometres to go Chloe Dygert and Maike van der Duin of Team Canyon Sram try to make the jump from second to first group: they will have to work hard. They finally bridge to the lead group, that makes three Team Canyon Sram riders in the lead group.
The finale in Colchester is an uphill sprint that is taken by Charlotte Kool of Team DSM, after a perfect lead out by Pfeiffer Georgi. Kool beats Clara Copponi of FDJ-Suez and Elizabeth Deignan of Team Canyon-Sram.
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