It’s a clean sweep for the reigning champion – who believes her best is yet to come
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) believes her best form is yet to come, despite a dominant display through the streets of London to claim her third consecutive stage win in the 2022 RideLondon Classique.
Wiebes defended her title from 2019 and backed up comprehensive wins over the first two stages to take a sprint victory on Victoria Embankment ahead of Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Work).
The result also ensured the Sprints Jersey for Wiebes, who cemented herself as the hottest property in women’s professional sprint cycling. “I’m so happy to deliver this for the team after they did so much for me this week,” said the Dutch rider, who now turns her attention to The Women’s Tour. “We were fully focused on the final sprint, and it paid off.
“I’m in really good shape, but I can still be better after a long block of training. I go with a lot of confidence into the next race, as can the team. I don’t want to say I’m the best in the world but I’m very pleased with how I raced.”
Wiebes didn’t show for the intermediate sprints, as she already held an 18-second advantage over her competitors. Ahead of the first intermediate sprint, the teams of Balsamo and Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Movistar Team) tried to place them well to scoop up points to overhaul Wiebes, but the breakaway of Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar – Travel & Service), Julia Borgström (AG Insurance-NXTG Team) and Amber Kraak (Team Jumbo-Visma) were able to stay away to sweep up the points.
This put Borgström into the lead of the Best Young Rider competition with two sprints to go.
Balsamo, Chiara Consonni (Valcar – Travel & Service) and Norsgaard Bjerg were the top three in the penultimate sprint, and while a late attack from Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-NXTG Team) and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO SVB) briefly threatened the main group it came back together for the final lap.
Trek-Segafredo and Team SD Worx were pushing the tempo at the front of the group, but Wiebes again won by more than a bike length ahead of Balsamo and Kopecky.
Balsamo said after the race: “Lorena is in very good shape, but I’m pleased with second overall for now,” while Kopecky added: “Lorena was outstanding this week. We will keep on working and we will beat her in the end!”
While the majority of the other leaders jerseys didn’t change hands, there was a new recipient of the Best Young Rider, with Borgström topping the podium after Vittoria Guazzini’s (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) early abandonment following her crash at the beginning of yesterday’s stage.
This edition of the race was the first time Borgström had ever raced on UK soil. She added that she is already looking forward to returning after claiming the Best Young Rider’s Jersey on the final day of the RideLondon Classique.
“It is the best result of my career, so I’m so pleased. We wanted some bonus seconds to catch up on the leader so when we heard that Vittoria dropped out at the beginning, we knew the jersey was in reach.
“I’ve never raced once in England, but I loved it. I haven’t left yet but I already can’t wait to come back!”
Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma) confirmed her Ford Queen of the Mountains status on completing the circuit following her efforts during the first two stages, and was also the Best British Rider as the highest ranked on General Classification.