Chloe Dygert continues comeback with victory in stage two of RideLondon Classique

Kool crashed late, but retains overall lead

Chloe Dygert
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chloe Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) claimed her first ever victory at World Tour level at the RideLondon Classique, coming out on top in a reduced bunch uphill sprint ahead of Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) and Soraya Paladin (Canyon-SRAM).

In a dramatic finale, a crash just before the final kilometre took out race leader and stage favourite Charlotte Kool (DSM), as well as several other riders in a bunch that had already been reduced to about 25 riders.

Kool nevertheless retains the overall lead, as the incident occurred inside the final 3km.

Dygert sealed the victory after her Canyon-SRAM switched tactics in the final kilometres just as her teammate Maike van der Duin was caught, with Soraya Paladin taking to the front to lead her out for the sprint.

Van der Duin attacked solo out of the peloton with about 10km left to ride, and managed to get a gap of over 10 seconds at one point. But that advantage started to tumble when Trek-Segafredo joined DSM at the front of the peloton, and the Dutchwoman was caught just as the uphill kick to the finish began.

‘I had a little bit of bad luck yesterday, but we went in with great opportunities today’, Dygert said at the finish. ‘Maike [van der Duin] almost had the win solo, and then Soraya [Paladin] led me out perfectly for that finish.’

There were attacks throughout the stage, with moves coming thick and fast despite there being little in the parcours to encourage them.  But none managed to stick, and Canyon-SRAM were ultimately best placed in the final reduced bunch sprint. 

‘I think we did a really good job working together. It was pretty hectic at the beginning. But once it kind of weaned out on those QOTMs, things really started to take off from everyone, and it really made the race fun. Coming into the finish, it was great.’

This victory has been long-awaited, who made a blistering start to her road career back in 2019 when she won gold in the Worlds individual time trial, but has suffered from illness and fitness problems since.

She suffered a horrific injury in a crash while defending her time trial title the following year, and was only able to return to racing the year after.

Her recovery was further delayed by the Epstein-Barr virus, but this season she has at last been able to flourish on the road, registering multiple podium finishes at both La Vuelta Femenina and Vuelta a Burgos. 

‘I worked really hard, but I’ve had such great support. Canyon-SRAM has stayed by my side this whole process, and they never gave up on me. Neither did my personal team: my family, my boyfriend. So I’m really happy and really pleased that I was able to pull this off for everybody. It was a team effort, and we pulled it together.’

This was the 26-year-old’s first win at World Tour level, and looks set to be the first of many, potentially starting with tomorrow’s final stage of the RideLondon Classique on the Mall in London.

Dygert goes into that stage third on the GC, with Kool remaining overall leader 10 seconds ahead, and Deignan in second at five seconds. 

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Stephen Puddicombe is a freelance journalist for Cycling Weekly, who regularly contributes to our World Tour racing coverage with race reports, news stories, interviews and features. Outside of cycling, he also enjoys writing about film and TV - but you won't find much of that content embedded into his CW articles.