RideLondon is back after a two year hiatus, now as the RideLondon Classique. Instead of one criterium-style event alongside a men’s race, the women’s race will take centre stage as a three-day headliner.
Beginning in Essex, the race will start and finish in Maldon for stage 1, taking in 137km of countryside and a loop where the QOM will be contested up Spring Elms Lane. An uphill finish should test the legs of the rouleurs.
The action remains in Essex on day 2, beginning in Chelmsford before heading to Epping over 141km. Three more QOMs will be contested, alongside the sprint points at Great Dunnow and Epping High Street.
Stage 3 takes a more traditional criterium-style format, with a circuit around Victoria Embankment. Two shorter laps followed by seven long laps will see the race likely end in a sprint contested by the most powerful riders
With a double race programme and Tata out with Covid, Le Col – Wahoo will be heading to the capital with four riders, Maike, Majo, April and Jesse.
The south of England isn’t exactly famed for its mountain passes, so it’s expected to be a hectic race, favouring the faster finishers.
Leading the team this weekend will be Jesse in the GC and Maike in the sprints. April and Majo will be putting aside their ambitions to wear one of the unique classification leaders jerseys to play invaluable supporting roles.
“I think the course suits us with the hilly hard stages and the wind, particularly in the first two stages” said Majo.
“We’re here with a small team, so we will be aiming to ride really smart and get the most out of the girls we have here. It’s small, but a strong team so we’ll see how the race develops”.
Our sports director for the race is former pro Julia Soek, and she’s going into the race with high expectations even with a small team.
“We know the course, it’s quite flat in the final stage but the other stages have a few kickers. There are possibilities to race, and for it to be quite unexpected.
“We have a strong squad and they know how to position themselves and work together as a team, so we’re looking to go for stage results with Maike, and indirectly, the GC with Jesse.”
If you want to catch the action, highlights of the first and second stages will be shown on BBC, while stage three will be available to watch live on Sunday afternoon.