Tom Boonen of Etixx-Quick Step, who earlier this week announced he would retire from professional cycling after the 2017 Paris-Roubaix in April, has won the fourth edition of the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
The Belgian outsprinted rivals Mark Renshaw of Dimension Data and Orica-BikeExchange's Michael Matthews on the Mall to take the win, but the peloton had needed to work hard to reel in a solo attack from Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.
The Welsh rider had bridged across to the day's six-man break with team mate Ian Stannard and then launched a solo attack, but was brought back in the closing kilometres.
“I'm really happy to win,” said Boonen. “It’s 10 years since I’ve won in London. It was a hard day as everyone was going bananas all day long. Everyone was fighting for every metre of the road.
“It was only with about 35 to 40km to go that we started to pull back the break and it finally came back together with 5km left.
“Then the team got well organised going into the final corner and I was really happy with my sprint.”
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.