Tom Boonen wins 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

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Tom Boonen wins 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

Former world champion sprints to victory on The Mall after Geraint Thomas' solo attack comes up just short

Classics veteran Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) won the 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic in a bunch sprint on The Mall.

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas had forged clear on the run-in back to the capital from the Surrey Hills, but when the Welshman’s effort came up just short it was Boonen who sprinted to victory.

The Belgian Classics specialist outsprinted former team-mate Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) and Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) to claim victory, ten years on from his last win on The Mall.

Tom Boonen sprinted to victory on The Mall to win the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix)

The race was delayed due to two major incidents in the RideLondon 100 sportive, which required the use of the air ambulance and a temporary diversion to be put in place – causing a backlog on the route.

Defending champion Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing) was one of four men left in the day’s break when Team Sky began to animate proceedings from the break.

Drucker and Madison-Genesis’ Matt Holmes shared the mountains prize for the day, having earned an identical number of points in the Surrey Hills, but Thomas, team-mate Ian Stannard and Cannondale-Drapac’s Pat Bevin had already closed in on the quartet before the ascent of Box Hill.

And it was on the climb when Thomas attacked and, with no other rider for support, forged on solo with 65km to race.

Stannard worked in the breakaway to close down any counter-attacks and Thomas held a steady one-minute advantage as the race headed back into central London.

It was still 30 seconds when the Welshman crossed Putney Bridge, with Stannard bidding to join him up the road with a counter-attack of his own.

However, the peloton had organised the chase well and Boonen, who had twice had to chase back on after first a puncture and then losing contact in the hills, was among those in contention for the sprint.

It was Renshaw who opened up his sprint first on The Mall, but the Australian’s decision to move away from the barriers left Boonen with plenty of space to make his own move stick.

Boonen celebrates on the all-WorldTour podium with second-placed Mark Renshaw and third-placed Michael Matthews (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix)

Though a former winner on The Mall, at the 2006 Tour of Britain, it marked a debut win for Boonen at RideLondon.

Matthews rounded off the podium, with Madison-Genesis’ Tobyn Horton adding to Holmes’ good work in the break by crossing as the best-placed British rider in eighth place.

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2016: result

1) Tom Boonen (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep – 4.43.55hrs
2) Mark Renshaw (AUS) – Dimension Data – ST
3) Michael Matthews (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange
4) Jens Debusschere (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
5) Jaroslaw Marycz (POL) – CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6) Paolo Simion (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF
7) Floris Gerts (NED) – BMC Racing
8) Tobyn Horton (GBR) – Madison-Genesis
9) Steele von Hoff (AUS) – ONE Pro Cycling
10) Mark McNally (GBR) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert

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