This Saturday sees the women’s peloton visit London for the Prudential Ride London Classique. Unlike the men who get to leave London and visit some of the Surrey Hills, the women are confined to Green Park and St James’s Park. The backdrop will be good, a finish line on the Mall and several passes of Buckingham Palace – the Queen can look out of one of the many windows to watch the London Classique.
Despite the efforts of the organisers to make the race look lumpy in the profile below, there’s no hills to speak of and the race will come down to a sprint. The previous winners of this race are Kristen Wild (twice) and Coryn Rivera – both very definitely are top sprinters. After 20 laps of racing, we’ll see who is declared the 2019 winner.
Women’s Prudential Ride London Classique 2019 Stage Profile
Women’s Prudential Ride London Classique 2019 Favourites
Kirsten Wild is the most successful rider of this race, with 2 wins. She’s a top drawer sprinter, especially on properly flat courses. Wild won 2 WorldTour races back in the Spring – Gent-Wevelgem and Driedaagse De Panne. Unsurprisingly she’s also been pretty good at sprinting at 2.1 and 2.2 level too – taking 6 wins for the season. She’s the favourite. Her teammate Lisa Brennauer took the sprint to win her National Championships at the end of June. She also won stages at the Festival Elsy Jacobs and Healthy Ageing Tour. In theory, she’ll be working for Wild but could still sneak her way into the top-10 whilst doing that.
Coryn Rivera is the only other former winner of this race, winning in 2017. She returned to form by finishing 2nd in the USA Champs race after a strangely quiet Women’s Tour. She’s not got a win so far in 2019, but she’s been there or thereabouts regularly with 7 top-5 finishes. Marianne Vos however, is in a rich rich vein of form. The winner of this year’s La Course and 4 stages of the Giro Rosa recently is getting closer and closer to surpassing 200 career wins. I’ve got her behind 2 other sprinter specialists in my prediction because of the profile but would not be surprised at all to see Vos win.
Lorena Wiebes is my personal favourite for the win. She’s been winning for fun in 2019. She won a stage of the BeNe Ladies Tour, the National Champs, the European Games, Spar Flanders Diamond Tour, 3 stages of Chongming Island and so on and so on! Only 20 years old, she is looking like a generational talent. Lotte Kopecky is another talented sprinter. She had a quiet Giro Rosa though and didn’t perform in the National Champs road race. She did win the National TT though for her 2nd win of the season. 13 top-10 results in 2019 shows consistency and she should be good for a top-10 again here.
Lotta Lepisto should be Trek’s best bet normally but she’s not finished a race since the Healthy Ageing Tour in April. Before then she’d won a stage of that race on her way to finished 7th Overall. She may be fit again or her teammate Paternoster (mentioned again later) might take over. Chloe Hosking will sprint for Ale-Cipollini. She’s had a so-so 2019 season though. 2 stage wins at home in Australia at the start of the season has only been followed up with a 6th place in the Women’s Tour. She’s a top sprinter who needs to find her form again.
Valcar’s Elisa Balsamo is pushing Lorena Wiebes close for most exciting young sprinter talent. She’s won 3 times in 2019 – in the Tour of California, Dwars Door de Westhoek and Trofee Maarten Wynants. She DNF-ed La Course but her recent form is excellent, 6 top-10 results in a row. She could find herself on the podium in London. Fellow Italian Marta Bastianelli had an amazing Spring. Not finishing below 9th in a race between the start of March and the end of May – a run of 16 races/stages. She won the Italian National Champs at the weekend too. So she’ll have a colourful jersey if she doesn’t retain the European Champs again next week. A great racer but not necessarily as quick as the specialist sprinters. She’s more than capable of finding a way to beat them.
Boels-Dolmans have Belgian Jolien D’Hoore. She should be a favourite but broke her elbow during a stage of the BeNe Ladies Tour just 2 weeks ago. With that in mind, it may fall to Amalie Dideriksen to take up the reigns instead. She won the Danish National Champs again this year. But you have to go back to the Ronde van Drenthe in March to find a top-10 finish. Boels also have Chantal Blaak, who is in a similar boat to Dideriksen when it comes to results. So maybe Christine Majerus will get the shot. Better on lumpier courses, she won La Classique Morbihan and got 3 top-10s at the Women’s Tour on her way to 9th Overall. Basically who knows which Boels-Dolmans rider will actually come out on top!
Women’s Prudential Ride London Classique 2019 Outsiders
Nina Kessler has managed a 2nd place in this race in the past, but also a 31st and 87th. Whilst definitely a sprinter, her best results in 2019 have come in China during the Tour of Chongming Island against a reduced quality field. She was 4th Overall there after finishing 3rd, 4th and 9th across the 3 stages. FDJ’s Eugenie Duval didn’t finish La Course but came 6th in her National Champs and 11th in the National TT. She out-sprinted the likes of Rivera, Confalonieri and Hosking on the Blenheim Palace stage of the Women’s Tour. Which gives her an outside chance of a result in London.
Letizia Paternoster still races on the track as well as the road. Finishing runner-up in the omnium at this year’s World Champs. She finished an excellent 3rd at Gent-Wevelgem back in the Spring. She finished 7th Overall at the recent BeNe Ladies Tour, along with stage finishes of 3rd and 7th. She may end up racing for teammate Lepisto. If she’s able to sprint for herself she may get a result. Another possibly racing for a teammate is Maria Giulia Confalonieri. Valcar have Balsamo who is more of an out and out sprinter but Confalonieri has been getting good results in 2019. 3 top-10 stage finishes in the Women’s Tour and 2 more at the Festival Elsy Jacobs. If anything happens to Balsamo or the race doesn’t play out as expected, she’ll become her team’s contender.
Alice Barnes is the new British National Champion at the road race and time trial. Often on domestique duty, when she races for herself she does well. She got 4th at the European Games, behind the likes of Wiebes and Vos but ahead of riders like Lippert and Balsamo. With no obvious out and out leader for Canyon-SRAM, she might get an opportunity.
Women’s Tour of Britain 2019 Prediction
1st – Lorena Wiebes
2nd – Kristen Wild
3rd – Marianne Vos