Arnaud Demare of FDR.fr has won the inaugural edition of the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic, the 21-year-old Frenchman eclipsing big names such as Cannondale's Peter Sagan and Gerald Ciolek of MTN-Qhubeka to prevail on The Mall.
An eight man break went early on the 221 kilometre race which started this lunchtime at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, and took in three laps of a circuit of Leith Hill and one ascent of Box Hill, before heading back into the capital.
A later attack from Demare's team-mate Yoann Offredo and Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise rider Zico Waeytens was chased down as the race headed into the heart of the capital.
Unlike last year's Olympic road race, when gold medal winner Alexandre Vinokourov and silver medallist Rigoberto Uran got away from a select group on Putney High Street and stayed away, this afternoon the peloton stayed together ahead of the finale.
Racing up Whitehall towards a final, very tight corner on Trafalgar Square from which the riders would exit beneath Admiralty Arch with a half kilometre run in to the finish line against the spectacular backdrop of Buckingham Palace, FDJ.fr and the Italian outfit Bardiani Valvole were prominent at the front of the bunch, Demare taking the win to add to his growing reputation.
Reaction and result to follow
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.