Dutch sprinter Charlotte Kool bounced back from a bad crash on the previous stage to win the final stage at the Ford RideLondon Classique on The Mall on Sunday. Kool (Team DSM) also cemented her win of the race overall, 11#” ahead of American Chloe Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing) who swapped places on GC with Elizabeth Deignan (Trek – Segafredo) after the Brit after time bonuses were applied.
While it was odds on on for a bunch sprint the crowds were still treated to a break of three chancing their luck. The trio of Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Victoire Berteau (Cofidis Women Team) and Grace Lister (DAS-Handsling Bikes) broke away on the fifth of the eight 11.1km laps of the Central London circuit. Within a lap they had built, or been allowed, a lead of more than one minute making Berteau the virtual overall race leader.
Their bid for glory was over by the time the race crossed the finish line on the Mall for the penultimate time. Aussie Sarah Roy (Canyon//SRAM Racing) tried to defy the fates with a late attack but was reeled back in swiftly.
Rounding the corner in front of Buckingham Palace the sprinters batlle reached its climax. UAE Team ADQ lead the peloton onto the Mall with Team DSM on their wheel. Canyon/SRAM Racing took the lead punching for the line a long way out. Chloé Dygert covers the final 100m in the lead but down her right hand side Kool is going faster and overtakes with 20 metres to go to take a narrow victory.
The victory is Kool’ssixth race win of the season but is the first WorldTour stage race general classification success of her career.
“I was in a lot of pain this morning but I think in the race I switched it off and then the team delivered me perfectly, this is really a team win,” she explained, wearing her race winner’s jersey after the podium ceremony.
Explaining the tactics going on in the peloton behind the break she said, “I was quite confident because it was not on us because Canyon needed the seconds to move up in GC. For us it was actually the perfect situation, the bonus seconds were gone, so actually we stayed really calm and they made the chase. Even Trek helped so that was fine for us in the end.” And despite Canyon//SRAM Racing taking the sprint on early on The Mall she remained in control.
“I think I could expect that because she did it before and I just tried to wait as long as possible then I knew I had to go. It was a hard one but I am really happy that I could win the stage also.”
Full results here on procyclingstats.com