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Battle of Champions Expected at the 2024 Ford RideLondon Classique

Charlotte Kool of Team DSM (NED) crosses the finish line to win the Ford RideLondon Classique ahead of Chloe Dygert of Canyon//SRAM Racing Team (USA) and Maike Van Der Duin of Canyon//SRAM Racing Team (NED) on The Mall on Sunday 28th May 2023.

The 2024 Ford RideLondon Classique is preparing for a clash of the best sprinters in the world, with world champions Lotte Kopecky and Lizzie Deignan set to compete against former RideLondon GC winners Charlotte Kool and Lorena Wiebes.

Kopecky, adorned in her prestigious rainbow bands, will gear up for her first return visit to UK roads since clinching the world title in Glasgow. Ranked second in the UCI World rankings, Kopecky’s stellar season already includes victories at the UAE Tour Women and Strade Bianche, marking her as a big favourite for Olympic Gold in Paris.

Deignan, a former world champion and Olympic silver medallist, eyes another shot at Olympic glory too, returning after a commendable third-place finish at the previous RideLondon Classique. She’s excited to take part on home roads and hopefully chalk up a first victory since the 2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes. She has good memories of the 2023 event where her 3rd place GC finish gave her confidence and was the first moment since returning to the peloton after giving birth to her second child that she felt able to truly compete again.

Joining the fray are Wiebes and Kool, the dominant forces behind the event’s last three editions. Wiebes, a powerhouse for Team SD Worx-Protime, and Charlotte Kool, representing Team dsm-firmenich PostNL, promise an electrifying showdown as they vie for sprint supremacy. Kool is the former lead-out rider for Wiebes and guided her to victory in 2022, with Kool winning in 2023. She took 2 stage wins along the way in what became a 6 week spell with 8 wins. She said that she relished the chance to race for the GC in small groups in a more dynamic fashion rather than waiting for the final few hundred metres.

Charlotte Kool sprints to the finish line to win Stage One of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique in Colchester
(Photo credit: Ford RideLondon)

Anticipation builds for the strongest field ever assembled at the Classique, underscoring its status as a premier event in the women’s cycling calendar. Ford RideLondon Classique Race Director Scott Sunderland anticipates a thrilling spectacle, with the revised course designed to accentuate aggressive racing and strategic manoeuvres. Whilst the start towns remain the same, the way they’re joined up now will hopefully encourage aggressive racing like we saw in 2023.

The Ford RideLondon Classique kicks off on May 24, traversing picturesque routes from Saffron Walden to Colchester before culminating in a thrilling finale on The Mall in central London on May 26. There’s also been a rule change so that bonus seconds are awarded on the QoM points rather than the intermediate sprints. The goal is to try and encourage non-sprinters to have a chance in the GC fight here.

The race almost gained a stage in 2024 but uncertainties with the status of the Women’s Tour over the off-season made a conservative UCI unwilling to commit. The Women’s Tour subsequently was cancelled before being reinstated once the National Federation of British Cycling stepped in to continue the running of the race in 2024. It remains a goal for future editions of the Ford RideLondon Classique.