Ride London Classique 2023
Two out of three ain’t bad.
Words & Images by Chris Maher 28 May 2023
Team DSM’s Charlotte Kool sprinted to victory on the Mall in-front of Buckingham Palace to claim the overall three day RideLondon Classique 2023.
In a long bunch sprint to the line, Kool edged out a strong performance ahead of stage two winner Chloe Dygart Canyon SRAM Racing and her team-mate Mieke Van Der Duin after covering eight laps of the iconic circuit. The race unfolded over 91.2 kilometers passing through well known areas such as Pall Mall, Piccadilly, Haymarket and the Strand with views of Admiralty Arch and the London Eye.
There was no time for sight seeing for the rides though at the race unfolded with several attacks gaining small leads, the last attack coming to an end on the final circuit.
The Queen of the Mountains Jersey had already been decided, and all that Torrelli’s Hanna Johasson had to do was finish the race.
Stage 1 Highlights Saffron Walden to Colchester
Charlotte Kool [Team DSM] won the bunch sprint on stage one of the RideLondon Classique Saffron Walden to Colchester with Clara Capponi [FDJ Suez] second and Lizzie Deignan [Trek Segafredo] third.
Pleasant sunshine greeted this years edition, now over three stages around undulating narrow roads in Essex for the longest day in the saddle at 146.64kms.
The first attack to brake free were British based Frankie Morgans-Slader [O’Shea AWOL] along with Hanna Johansson [Torelli] building up a lead of around two minutes. Morgans-Slader took the first Sprint Points in Saffron Walden with Johannson taking the first Queen-of-the-Mountains Points at Sewards End.
Disappointing news came then the former World Champion Elisa Balsamo [Trek Segafredo] having crashed twice already had abandoned the race along with Mari Hole Hohs [Team Coop-HITEC Products].
As the race meandered through the Villages, another home team rider Dani Shrosbree [DAS-Handsling Bikes] joined the leaders with around 70kms remaining.
Another very nasty crash in the Peloton behind saw rides hitting road furniture and coming down hard with 60kms remaining.
The Trio of leaders were eventually caught at 47.7kms not long after Torelli’s Johansson had secured the QOM Jersey for stage 2.
The main break of the day then formed with fourteen riders going clear. Paladin, Copponi, De Jong, Ragusa, Hanson, Gasparrini, Beekhuis, Ruegg, Deignan, Kool, Georgi, Barker, Herbal & Greenwood.
The final sprint saw Paladin [Canyon SRAM Racing] first, Kool second & Capponi third taking vital bonus seconds.
Seeing the danger & been caught in the split Dygart tried to bridge the gap up-to the leaders with only 20kms remaining. Joining the leading group Canyon SRAM Racing then had two riders with 12kms till the finish in Colchester.
Approaching the final 200m Kool’s lead-out rider Pfeifer Georgi set up the sprint.
Stage 2 Highlights Maldon to Maldon
Stage two finished with a much reduced uphill bunch sprint that saw race leader Kool on the floor with-in the last couple of kilometer.Canyon SRAM Racing’s Chloe Dygart took her first WWT Women’s World Tour victory since her return to the Pro Peloton. Second was Deignan [Trek Segafreda] and third Paladin [Canyon SRAM Racing].
Ten non-starts or abandons have recured the Peloton down overnight.
Kool added points and bonus seconds in the first sprint of the day at Tolleshunt D’Arcy with Van Der Duin second and Capponi third.
April Tacey [LifePlus Wahoo] was the second rider to escape taking the second sprint at Tiptree followed by Thalita De Jong second and Capponi third before being reeled back into the fold.
The first QOM at Wickham Bishops saw Euginie Duvas first, Emilia Fahlin second and Lauretta Henson third.
It was then Tacey’s team-mate Typhanie Laurence [LifePlus Wahoo] turn the make a break and gained over a minute as the Peloton entered the smaller finishing circuit with around 46.5kms remaining.
Paladin took maximum points over the final QOM at North Hill, Little Baddow equaling Johnsson but on countback, Johnsson had secured the Jersey as long as she fished the race in London. Duvan second & Anna Henderson [Jumbo Vista] third.
The Peloton returned to Maldon for the final circuit with 25.2kms remaining.
This time Van Der Duin tried her luck to break free and go for a long one with 10kms to go.
The race from Maldon to Maldon finished the reverse way from an initial passage over the line on this 133.1kms stage. Kool crashed with a kilometer to go. Pfeiffer Georgi [Team DSM] lead the remaining rides and caught Van Der Duin at the 350m mark.
Stage 3 Highlights London
First away from the Peloton, AWOL’s Jess Finney joined by Canyon SRAM Racing’s Alice Towers in the British National Jersey. By the end of lap one the Peloton were all back together after 10.7kms.
Next to escape was AWOL’s Frankie Morgens-Slader on the second lap.
Canyon SRAM Racings Chloe Dygart took the first Sprint across the line on the third lap gaining six bonus seconds.
The biggest break of the day formed soon after with Parkhotel Valkenberg’s Sofie Van Rooijen, DAS Handsling’s Grace Lister and Cofids Women’s Team Victoire Berteau gaining over a minute and a half at one point. Only to get reeled back on the final lap.
1. Charlotte Kool (NED, Team DSM) 9:34:41
2. Chloé Dygert (USA, Canyon//SRAM Racing) +11
3. Elizabeth Deignan (GBR, Trek-Segafredo) +15
Charlotte Kool (NED, Team DSM)
Queen of the Mountains:
Hanna Johansson (SWE, Torelli)
Best Young Rider:
Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (ITA, UAE Team ADQ) 9:35:03
Team Jumbo-Visma (NED)
Best British Rider:
Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) 9:34:56
Stage One (Saffron Walden to Colchester, 149.7km):
1. Charlotte Kool (NED, Team DSM) 3:56:35
2. Clara Copponi (FRA, FDJ-Suez) ST
3. Elizabeth Deignan (GBR, Trek-Segafredo) ST
Stage Two (Maldon to Maldon, 133.1km):
1. Chloé Dygert (USA, Canyon//SRAM Racing) 3:26:33
2. Elizabeth Deignan (GBR, Trek-Segafredo) ST
3. Soraya Paladin (ITA, Canyon//SRAM Racing) ST
Stage Three (London to London, 91.2km):
1. Charlotte Kool (NED, Team DSM) 2:11:58
2. Chloé Dygert (USA, Canyon//SRAM Racing) ST
3. Maike van der Duin (NED, Canyon//SRAM Racing) ST