Dutch sprinter ignores team woes to bag victory

Just a few days after her Wiggle-High5 team announced they would not be continuing in 2019, Kirsten Wild won the Prudential RideLondon Classic on Saturday.

The Dutch sprinter timed her effort to perfection, overtaking compatriot, Marianne Vos in the final few metres to win the 16th race of the Women’s WordTour.

Waowdeals rider Vos placed second, while the 2016 Junior World Champion Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-PBM) scored her first WorldTour podium, finishing third.

Wild’s sprint came characteristically late. Having been guided into place by Lisa Brennauer, she only opened up when Vos stared to overtake, using her incredible power to outdo the multiple word champion, bagging her second victory in the race.

How it happened

The 64.1km race consisted of 12 laps of a 5.3km course starting and finishing on the Mall, and as a whole was a frantic affair.

Other than a couple of lulls in the action, the pace was incredibly high throughout, with no breakaway managing to go clear.

The high speed was contributed to by the intermediate sprint competition, with teams fighting for points every third lap. As full lead outs assembled for each, even on the first prime it became clear that squads were working for different riders than they would the final, their chosen winners nowhere to be seen. 

The fight for the €3,000 prize was eventually won by Waowdeals’ British rider Dani Rowe, whose aggression and year long consistency in such contests paid off, beating Boels-Dolmans’ Amy Pieters into second place.

After the final intermediate sprint, as the event neared its conclusion Mitchelton-Scott took control of the front of the race, Australian Amanda Spratt showing her Giro Rosa form by dominating the head of affairs, working for Belgian sprinter Jolien D’hoore.

It was, however, Wiggle-High5 who were successful, bringing Wild up on the final circuit of Trafalgar Square and avoiding a late crash to win.

Coming so hot on the heels of this week’s announcement, Wiggle-High5’s performance and cohesion was something to note.

“We didn’t ride so much together,” Wild told journalists at the finish. “But I have to say it worked really well, it is something we can be really proud of.

“It’s a nice feeling, and something Wiggle high deserved, to show that we are a team at a really high level.”

Results

Prudential Ride London Classique 2018 – London ,64.1km

1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle-High5 in 1-29-51
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals
3. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar PBM
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale-Cipollini
5. Lotta Lepsstö (Fin) Cervélo-Bigla
6. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
7. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance
9. Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM
10. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans, all at same time