Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing Team) won a four-up sprint to take the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.
The 200km route through London and Surrey served up a variation of the course used in the 2012 Olympics.
Going into the final 20km an eight-man break — Drucker; Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge); Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Etixx-Quick-Step); Ben Swift (Sky); Kenneth Van Rooy (Lotto Soudal); Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka), and Mike Teunissen and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) — was holding a two-minute advantage over the peloton.
Swift attacked the break with 15km to go, and Drucker and Teunissen followed. Sbaragli led the others back up to them, and then Vanmarcke took his shot, prying open a significant gap.
Swift jumped once more but got nowhere, as Vanmarcke motored along at the front, taking a 16-second edge over his former companions into the final 10km with the greatly reduced peloton more than 90 seconds behind and losing ground.
- 1. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, in 4:47:46
- 2. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
- 3. Ben SWIFT, TEAM SKY, at :00
- 4. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
- 5. Kristian SBARAGLI, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
- 6. Leigh HOWARD, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
- 7. Kenneth VAN ROOY, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :28
- 8. Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :49
- 9. Moreno HOFLAND, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 1:00
- 10. Yves LAMPAERT, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at 1:00
With 5km to go Vanmarcke had 20 seconds over the first chase, which Swift was trying to goad to greater efforts.
Finally Drucker jumped the group and went after Vanmarcke. Teunissen marked him, and Swift followed.
The trio closed in on Vanmarcke going into the final 2km and it was a quartet bound for the line.
At the red kite Drucker was on the front. Teunissen jumped once, twice, and then Swift found himself on point. Vanmarcke tried one final dig, going early on the left, only to see Drucker, Swift and his own teammate rocket past past at the line.
Teunissen took second on the day while Swift rounded out the podium in third.
“I am a fast guy, so I was pretty confident,” Drucker said after winning his first race of the season. “I looked a bit to Ben Swift because I knew he was a bit nervous. He wanted to do something. I tried to keep his wheel and focus on him.”
Vanmarcke said the race was “a real fight” from 70km out.
“With 15 kilometers to go, I tried to finish it on my own,” he said. “I was able to push through during the first five kilometers, but afterwards I was slowing down a little bit. It’s a pity that they caught me with two kilometers to go.”
Teunissen was likewise disappointed after having come so close to winning.
“I tried to put Ben Swift and Drucker under pressure,” he said. “Swift chased me two times and broke himself. I was close in the end and I think that I should have waited for the sprint. I’m fed up with that.”