RideLondon Classique 2024 Race Preview

RideLondon Classique 2022 Jumbo Visma

RideLondon Classique 2024 History

The RideLondon Classique now looks secure after a good 2023 edition. The run-up to that race saw the race maybe dropping out of the Women’s WorldTour due to not showing all of the stages live in 2022. Despite the potential for the race to finish in 3 formulaic sprints, the riders took up the challenge to attack with Stage 2 into Colchester a particular highlight and won by Chloe Dygert. 

The 2022 issues stem from when only the final day’s stage was given live coverage, a decision that breached the rule about providing a minimum of an hour’s coverage per stage. The race effectively had its WWT status suspended until it could prove its intent to show all 3 stages in 2023. Once that was complete, the race was reinstated in the 2023 Women’s WorldTour calendar.

2022 had marked a departure from the previous history of the RideLondon Classique in itself anyway. Previously a one-day race that headed out to Surrey before having a sprint on the Mall in London, it was revamped this side of the enforced Covid cancellation editions. With the agreement with Surrey reaching its end 10 years after the Olympics, the race found a new agreement with Essex and hosted a pair of stages finishing out to the East of London before heading into the centre of the city for a crit style final stage. Lorena Wiebes dominated the race, taking all 3 stages and the GC.

The RideLondon Classique has always been a sprinter’s classic – so far no break has been successful and big names like Kristen Wild (2016 & 2018), Coryn Labecki (2017), Barbara Guarischi (2015), Giorgia Bronzini (2014) and Laura Kenny (2013) have all tasted success. 2023 saw a group of around 20 riders go clear and contest the win on the middle stage, which is the closest we’ve come to a winning breakaway at the RideLondon Classique.

Previous Winners

2023
Charlotte Kool
2022
Lorena Wiebes
2021
Not held

RideLondon Classique 2024 Stage Profiles

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

TV Coverage

Friday 24th May – Sunday 26th May 2024

Live on Eurosport/Discovery+ across Europe

Stage 1: 13:30-15:30
Stage 2: 13:30-15:30
Stage 3: 15:30-18:00

All times in BST

Twitter: #RideLondon

Startlist: FirstCycling

RideLondon Classique 2024 Contenders

2022 RideLondon Classique winner Lorena Wiebes is back this year and will be the pre-race favourite here. She can realistically win all 3 stages with the rolling British roads perfect for the type of rider that she is. Whilst others will need to focus on the flatter London stage, we could see the GC all but wrapped up by then. She’ll be coming off a stage win at the Vuelta a Burgos this week as well. Teammate Lotte Kopecky is back for the first time since the Ardennes Classics and presumably will play a supportive role to Wiebes. Stage 2 into Maldon has a bit of a rising finish which possibly suits Kopecky very well but I think we’re more likely to see her leading out Wiebes to a comfortable win there.

After a superb 2023 season, Charlotte Kool hasn’t quite matched those heights so far in 2024. We had visions of her going toe to toe with Wiebes and pushing her one-time leader but so far she’s been pushed back into 2nd place without looking like surpassing Wiebes. A year ago she took the GC win here but that’s going to be a tough act to repeat.

After coming close but not taking a win so far in 2024, Chiara Consonni got that particular monkey off her back with a pair of wins at the GP della Liberazione PINK and GP Eco-Struct. Both of those were against relatively weaker sprint opposition but we’ve seen Consonni not always finish off those races as well. Teammate Eleonora Gasparrini will be waiting in the wings to take over if anything happens to Consonni. Gasparrini also took a recent victory at La Classique Morbihan and is on a streak of 4 top-10 results in a row.

Ally Wollaston
Ally Wollaston

Finally back racing on the road is Ally Wollaston who we’ve not seen since the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race back in January. She’s got Olympics track stuff firmly on her mind but is the right mix of rider to do well on British roads too. She’s a fast finisher who’s able to get over most smaller gradients without an issue. The team also has a few other cards to play. The U23 European Champion Ilse Pluimers hasn’t quite matched her 2023 results so far this year but it’s only a matter of time. Maud Rijnbeek is often supporting others and will probably be the lead-out rider for Wollaston who is able to step up if needed. We also get to see Kim le Court again for the first time in a month. The Mauritian hasn’t had a great break though, she’s been ill and also had a wrist injury.

Maike van der Duin appears to be getting close to being fully race fit again with a 3rd place this week in the Vuelta a Burgos following a 6th place at the Vuelta Femenina. Last year it looked like she was turning into one of the best sprinters in the pack but her 2024 season was derailed by a fractured ankle at training camp this off-season. She will get another chance here in Britain. Soraya Paladin has traditionally done well on the finish into Maldon as well. On the purer sprints she will be racing for Van der Duin but that day represents a chance for her to pick up some seconds and move into the top-10 of the GC.

Ceratizit WNT will be able to decide if they want to contest sprints or roll the dice with an attack from Cédrine Kerbaol. The French rider recently won Durango Durango with a strong late move on a wet descent that couldn’t be reeled in by the finish. She’s been good in Spain this month with 14th at Itzulia Women hiding how close she was to being much higher. The sprint options will be Martina Fidanza, 3rd at both Scheldeprijs and Ronde de Mouscron, her last races before returning to racing this week at Veenendaal-Veenendaal. Kathrin Schweinberger also has a couple of strong results this year with Mylene de Zoete not far off either.

Daria Pikulik has been a consistent rider in the sprints this year with a win at Ronde de Mouscron a month and a bit ago. Since then the Pole’s also finished 2nd, 3rd and 5th to pick up a steady stream of good results. She fell though at Veenendaal-Veenendaal though, skating through a soaking wet roundabout after a deluge and onto the floor with her sister Wiktoria. At her best, she will be chasing a podium result.

Clara Copponi
Clara Copponi

With the injuries suffered by Elisa Balsamo at Vuelta a Burgos this week, suddenly Clara Copponi looks to be the lead sprinter for Lidl-Trek. She had that role back at FDJ-Suez but has found opportunities sparser so far on her new team. She delivered in Spain though, finishing 2nd behind Lorena Wiebes on Stage 3. She was 5th and 2nd in the RideLondon Classique last year and will try to repeat that.

Georgia Baker and Letizia Paternoster will probably divide the sprints between them at RideLondon Classique. Baker is a faster finisher but only on fairly flat stages, otherwise, she tends to find herself dropped before the end. We’ve seen her doing well though this year with 2nd on Stage 4 of the Vuelta Femenina, a pair of 4ths at the UAE Tour Women and 5th at Classic Brugge-De Panne. With that in mind, I think he’s more likely to get the London sprint. Stage 2 though should be in the purview of Letizia Paternoster instead. The Italian was 3rd Dwars Door Vlaanderen, 4th at Ronde van Drenthe and 9th at the Tour of Flanders for her best classic season in a few years.

Uno-X Mobility’s Amalie Dideriksen is going well at the moment in a pair of Belgian one-dayers. She took 6th and 7th at the GP Eco-Struct and Trofee Maarten Wynants respectively. She was 4th on the London stage here last year and whilst the return of Wiebes might push her down the order a bit the chance for a top-10 is there again. I’m expecting Maria Giulia Confalonieri to get the nod on the less flat stages with a 4th this week at Vuelta a Burgos her best result since the customary strong one at Gent Wevelgem.

Sofie van Rooijen
Sofie van Rooijen

I’d have Anna Henderson on here as a good favourite for GC contention thanks to a canny ability to pick up bonus seconds wherever they’re on offer. However, her crash at the Vuelta might not have seen her recover in time. She could be a scratch from this version of the startlist but either way, she hasn’t raced since breaking her collarbone. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Fem van Empel gets on. She finally cracked the top-10 with 8th at Fleche Wallonne and then took a well-deserved rest after a long Winter. We might also see Nienke Veenhoven get the nod in London with 6th and 8th places in recent races and the city crit stage being closest to her win this year at the Tour Down Under crit.

Sofie van Rooijen continues to show off the sprinting gains she’s made this year with a win at Omloop van Borsele and 7th in the rain at Veenendaal-Veenendaal. She’s threatening to put herself in the conversation of being up there with the best sprinters. Maybe not the Wiebes/Balsamo/Kool tier but certainly the one below that with the likes of Pikulik and Consonni. She might get 3 opportunities here. Teammate Anne Knijnenburg has just won the Cyclis Classic by beating a fellow breakaway rider to the line. She’s had a quiet spring but then just started to steadily improve in the last couple of weeks. Expect to see her being the attacking option.

Lifeplus-Wahoo can call upon a couple of riders in form with Kate Richardson and Kaja Rysz. Richardson won the Lincoln GP last weekend, a race that’s a bit of a crown jewel of the British calendar. With plenty of steep climbs of Michaelgate, it’s not an easy race to conquer. For Kaja Rysz, she has also gone well in UCI racing with 7th at La Classique Morbihan. That race is peppered with short climbs and seems perfect when considering the British roads. She’s a reasonably fast finisher but if a small group comes into Maldon then she will be looking for the top-10 again.

Roxane Fournier hasn’t quite had the rub of the green so far this season. She has a handful of good results but they came in the Australian part of the season which feels like a lifetime ago now. Her best results in Europe have been 13th at Le Samyn des Dames and 18th at Scheldeprijs. She’s coming off a break having not raced since Paris Roubaix Femmes at the start of April. Hopefully, that sees her here raring to good and fully recharged.

RideLondon Classique 2024 Outsiders

Alice Sharpe
Alice Sharpe

The Irish pair on DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK of Mia Griffin and Alice Sharpe will be looking to continue their good recent form. Alice Sharpe has been consistently finishing well in the last month with 5th at the Pays de la Loire Tour the highlight. She’s been steadily closing in on the top-10 again since via Luxembourg and Belgium. One of those races saw Mia Griffin finish 8th at Festival Elsy Jacobs à Luxembourg

Lucinda Stewart is another who did well at the Pays de la Loire Tour, getting herself onto the podium there. It’s the forst Euro podium for the young Aussie who it feels is just starting to make the right moves over here. She followed it up with 11th at La Classique Morbihan and must surely be on the radar of some other teams now. Teammate Lucie Fityus also got a good result recently at Festival Elsy Jacobs à Luxembourg where she finished 5th in a sprint finish

Finally, Coop-Repsol has the pair of Monica Greenwood and Camilla Rånes Bye who should go on the attack. We just saw Greenwood finish 21st at Veenendaal-Veenendaal but that result hides that she was in the main break that day which was only closed late on. She’s just starting to get a little bit closer to replicating some of her standout results from last season. Camilla Rånes Bye has been a willing attacker all season and it’d almost be a surprise if she didn’t try and get clear this weekend. The young Norwegian puts out plenty of power and has shown that she’s a strong engine already. She was 9th in the sprint at Ronde de Mouscron too.

Top 3 Prediction