Wiebes bags Ride London Classique stage victory as Anna Henderson caught in final kilometre

British time trial champion Anna Henderson was caught inside the final kilometre as DSM take the honours

Lorena Wiebes wins stage one of the 2022 Ride London Classique
Lorena Wiebes wins stage one of the 2022 Ride London Classique
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/getty)

Lorena Wiebes continued where she left off by winning the opening stage of Ride London Classique in Essex on Friday. The DSM sprinter, who won the race’s last edition back in 2019, took the win by around five bike lengths from her nearest rival after a tough finish in Maldon.

In what was an exciting final, the lone breakaway rider, British time trial champion Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) held on into the very last kilometre, but as the road kicked up into the finish town, she was unable to hold on. 

With the Brit despatched, DSM’s sprint train able to drop Wiebes off to take the victory, with World champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the line in second place with Emma Bjerg (Movistar) taking third.

Saturday’s second stage is a tougher affair, the bunch beginning the day in Chelmsford before heading north, then south-West to Epping forest for two laps of a gnarly, hilly final circuit. 

How it happened

Having been a one day race until the most recent edition in 2019, for 2022 Ride London Classique has been extended to three days. In line with the sportive’s move from Surrey to Essex, the race has done the same, with the opening two days held in the county.

To start, stage one took the riders on a circuitous route starting and finishing in the town of Maldon, east of Chelmsford. The race began with two opening circuits, before a larger one led to two final laps of the finishing town. Each of those included an intermediate sprint on the finish line in the town’s heart, coming immediately after a steep final dig. 

Unfortunately, the race was notable for the lack of information available to followers. With no live coverage of the opening two stages, fans were relying on online updates, which were thin on the ground from either the organisation or any other source.

This didn’t prove too much of an issue though, as the early part of the stage was uneventful, with the bunch staying together until 50km were behind them.

Only inside the final 45km did the race come to life, the pace lifting as the peloton headed into Maldon on narrow roads, where the bonus seconds came into play. Though some riders were dropped on the run in, a good sized peloton crossed the line for the first time.

Here Lorena Wiebes (DSM) took the maximum bonus seconds, though it was British national time trial champion Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) who used the increased pace to launch a solo move, edging off the front to build a gap of 50 seconds on the first of the two 21.8km laps. 

With the sun shining Henderson made hay, her lead quickly extending to 1-50, crossing the line with one lap to go with her lead down to about 1-35 on a peloton which, though largely together had been thinned by the narrow roads and crashes.

However, as that lap wore on the gap began to diminish and the Brit entered the final 10km with her advantage down to 50 seconds. and that steadily decreased as the race went on, Liv-Xstra doing the work with Rachel Barbieri or their Canadian champion Alison Jackson in mind.

When DSM came to the front Henderson was finally caught, for what was a reduced bunch sprint. 

Result Ride London Classique, stage one: Maldon - Maldon (132.5km)

1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 3-30-25
2. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo) 
3. Emma Bjerg (Den) Movistar
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SDWorx 
5. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope 
6. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service 
7. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service, all at same time 
8. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ, at 4 sec 
9. Simone Boilard (Can) St Michel-Auber93
10. Letizia Borghesi (Ita) EF Education-Tibco-SVB, all at  same time

General classification after stage one 

1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 3-30-12
2. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafred0, at 5 sec
3. Emma Bjerg (Den) Movistar, at 9 sec
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SDWorx, at 11 sec
5. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Furturoscope, at 13 sec
6. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service
7. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service, at same time
8. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ, at 17 sec
9. Simone Boilard (Can) St Michel-Auber93
10. Letizia Borghesi (Ita) EF Education-Tibco-SVB, at same time

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.