By Jonny Long
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) won the RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2019, beating Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the bunch sprint finish.
Viviani's team-mate Michael Mørkøv finished third, after an exemplary lead-out that secured the win for the Italian.
Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) finished fourth and Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma) fifth, with 20-year-old Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) securing an impressive 10th place finish.
A big crash decimated the field with 2km to go, meaning a reduced bunch contested the sprint finish.
Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) led round the final bend, before UAE Team Emirates took over. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) then came to the fore before Mørkøv came through, handing over to Viviani who held off Bennett to take the victory.
Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) claimed the King of the Mountains jersey after getting himself in the day's break. The Brit said the trio of escapees had agreed to share the KoM points, but Dowsett said he made sure to finish at least second every time in order to secure the classification.
How it happened
The 2019 route featured six categorised climbs, first up was Newlands Corner followed by five ascents of Box Hill before the bunch hurtle back towards central London for a sprint finish on The Mall.
After a slight delay, the race got underway with Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) attacking on home soil as Stan Dewulf (Lotto-Soudal) and Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma) joined what would become the day's break.
The trio took out a gap of nearly two minutes after 30km of racing, with Julien Vermote (Dimension Data) the lone chaser, caught exactly in between the breakaway and the peloton.
Dowsett was first to the summit of Newlands Corner, before Vermote was reeled in 13km later. Dewulf led the breakaway over the first ascent of Box Hill and Eenkhoorn took the next, with 100km to go to the finish line.
The gap back to the peloton began to fall with 85km to go as Dowsett took the third ascent, extending his lead in the KoM competition.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was then dropped from the peloton, clearly paying for his spectacular Tour de France, where he claimed three stage wins.
Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) then attacked the peloton, with Michael Matthews (Sunweb) then making his own acceleration.
Dewulf then led Dowsett over the final two ascents of Box Hill as Teunissen was joined by Casper Pedersen (Sunweb) in the chase group, only edging 30 seconds clear of the peloton.
Dowsett was caught by the peloton with 50km to go before Teunissen and Pedersen were then reeled in. Dewulf was finally caught with 14km to go.
Ian Stannard (Ineos) came to the fore with 3km to the finish line as the sprinters' teams made their way to the front of the peloton.
A crash towards the front of the peloton decimated the field with 2km to go, with Michael Matthews one of a number of riders involved as Mitchelton-Scott took over with UAE Team Emirates behind, leading a massively reduced bunch to the finish.
EF Education First took over with 1.5km to go, with two Great Britain riders still near their front as they went under the 1km banner.
Ethan Hayter led round the final bend before Michael Mørkøv eventually transported Elia Viviani through traffic to the front of the race, allowing the Italian to unleash his sprint and stave off the charging Irishman Sam Bennett, who ran out of road before the finish line, with Viviani taking the win.
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2019
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 3-46-16
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Ag2r La Mondiale
9. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
10. Ethan Hayter (GBr) Great Britain, all at same time
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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