Adam Blythe of British UCI Continental team NTFO Pro Cycling pulled off a victory for the underdog on Sunday as he won the second edition of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on The Mall following a rain-soaked race. What’s more, he beat fellow Yorkshireman and childhood friend Ben Swift of Team Sky into second place.
A film crew from Sportsbeat was at the finish line to get the reaction after the 24-year-old from Sheffield triumphed from a five-man group that included his former BMC Racing team mate and ex-world champion, Philippe Gilbert to take the biggest win of his career. Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Julian Alaphilippe finished third.
Prior to the start of the race, NFTO rider Hugh Wilson had his team mates in stitches as he gave his impersonation of directeur sportif Sean Yates delivering a team talk.
Blythe, who joined NFTO – the letters stand for ‘Not For The Ordinary’ –at the start of this season after two seasons at BMC, said following Sunday’s win in London: “It was a difficult day out there, it was a race you had to be at the front of all day to be in with a chance.
“The race got to a kilometre to go and I just through ‘game on, I’ve got to go for it now.’
“I just wanted to make sure I didn’t regret anything with the sprint starting late so I just wanted to go early and make sure I got everything out.
“It’s hard to put into words what it really means. I think the emotion on my face says it all.
“I’ve come back to England to do racing and I’ve taken a step down from doing the ProTour and I just wanted to show that I’m still here and ready to mix with the big guys and I think I showed that there, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Rotherham-born Swift, who says he is riding into form ahead of next month’s UCI World Road Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, said he was happy that it had been his friend who had pipped him to the line.
“I knew it was going to be between me and Adam at the end, I’ve known him since I was six years old,” said the Team Sky rider.
“We have raced abroad together and have been best mates ever since. I knew that he was potentially the quickest one there and I just wanted to keep an eye on him and not let anyone get away really but he just got me at the end.
“It’s brilliant to get a one-two with him, I haven’t raced with him for a while now because he took a step down out of the WorldTour,” Swift went on.
“I’m really happy to be up there and contesting. Normally I just sit in the team and the team rides, I think it shows the condition is coming now.
“The World Championships is a bit of focus, the form is building slowly and it was nice to get that result here in those conditions, it shows good signs for the future,” Swift added.
Prudential RideLondon took place on 9 and 10 August. To find out more, visit prudentialridelondon.co.uk.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.