Sun-soaked central London hosted the spectacular finale of the three-day 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique on Sunday 28 May – find out what happened in the race below.
Stage Three winners
To see the full results from the third stage of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique, as well as the final standings in the General Classification, click here.
The greatest finish of The Mall
The riders came ablaze on the final straight, with Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) charging on and claiming the win on London's most iconic red road by just a fraction of a second! Stage Two victor Chloé Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing) steals second place, while Maike van der Duin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) takes third.
This makes Kool our overall winner of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique! A Kool effort from Charlotte for sure.
Within sprinting distance...
With less than 3km to go, we are rapidly approaching the end of Stage Three – the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique decider. For the riders it's Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk then home!
It's the last lap!
Here we go…
Berteau (Cofidis Women Team), van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Lister (DAS-Handsling) are still out there in the lead, but their advantage is now just 16 seconds. Trek-Segafredo is also lurking and setting its sights on the team win, having made great headway within the peloton.
Second intermediate sprint results
The riders have completed the second intermediate sprint during their sixth lap. Our three frontrunners have claimed the top three spots:
1. Victoire Berteau (Cofidis Team Women)
2. Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg)
3. Grace Lister (DAS-Handsling Bikes)
The gap between our three leaders and the peloton, however, is now just 20 seconds – so much could change yet.
Team DSM vies for the win
While our leading trio charges on, Team DSM is now at the front of the peloton, clearly wanting to make sure Kool can claim this third stage – meaning she'd win the overall Ford RideLondon Classique title.
There are other canny tactics going on from Canyon//SRAM Racing, though. Is the team trying to get rival Team DSM to put in all the effort to open up the opportunity for a Canyon//SRAM Racing win?
A trio takes off
Three riders have cemented a lead of well over a minute with just under 35km to go: Victoire Berteau (Cofidis Women Team), Grace Lister (DAS-Handsling Bikes) and Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg).
Berteau is the best-placed rider in terms of the General Classification, sitting 45 seconds behind Kool’s lead.
Who can maintain dominance?
With 43km remaining, the Parkhotel Valkenburg team now has a presence at the front thanks to Sofie van Rooijen's attack. DAS-Handsling Bikes is also making an effort at the head of the bunch, with British rider Danni Shrosbree leading the chase.
It's safe to say there is plenty of fluctuation at the front.
Focused on a strong finale
The riders are hitting some serious speeds down the Strand as they tick off the laps in central London.
First intermediate sprint results
The peloton is now moving in close formation, with our first intermediate sprint of the day on the third lap adding some spice to proceedings! Here are the results:
1. Chloé Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing)
2. Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (UAE Team ADQ)
3. Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM)
That takes three seconds off Charlotte Kool’s overall advantage over Dygert, meaning she now has only a seven-second lead.
It's interesting that Kool didn’t sprint and let teammate Georgi do the fast work instead. Has she not fully recovered from yesterday’s crash, or is she saving herself for the finish?
The peloton passes Buckingham Palace
Morgans-Slader makes a move
Another attacker, Francesca Morgans-Slader (AWOL O’Shea) is now off up the road. she was on the attack on day one. Her team is based the capital, so this could truly be her time to shine on home turf!
Changes at the front
We've completed the first lap and breakaway rider Baur has been caught. The DSM Team of overall leader Charlotte Kool has now come to the front instead, with German rider Franziska Koch taking control of the pace.
She’s a super strong rider, having won a stage of what was then called the Boels Ladies Tour in Holland in only her first year as a professional racer. Her second-place finish at the Antwerp Port Epic this time last week proves that she's still on form now.
Following some fighting for the front spot, Caroline Baur (Israel Premier Tech Roland) has established herself as an early leader of the race, riding just ahead of the peloton.
Meanwhile, currently leading the young rider classification is sprinter Eleonora Gasparrini (UAE ADQ), whose teammate Chiara Consonni is also a formidable presence. Jess Finney (AWOL-O’Shea) is also already out there near the front, but the peloton doesn’t seem too happy about this. The chase is already on.
Let the Stage Three battle commence
The riders are rolling!
The first 800m from the Start Line on The Mall will be neutralised before we get stuck into the real race. It'll be a fast and furious one around the capital today!
Dropping all the Classique moves
There's no better way to warm up.
Saving the best for last?
Welcome to the third and final stage of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique – the shortest of all three at 91.2km. A speedy eight-lap circuit around the centre of London, Stage Three passes sights including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral and starts and finishes on The Mall – one of the most famous roads on the planet.
This stage certainly suits the pure sprinters, with two intermediate sprints on the cards during laps three and six where precious bonus seconds and points will be up for grabs.
Charlotte Kool is our current General Classification leader by five seconds – but can British diamond Lizzie Deignan or Stage Two winner Chloe Dygert catch her in the early summer sunshine?
Stage Three of the Ford RideLondon Classique
- Date: Sunday 28 May 2023
- Start: 15:30, The Mall, London
- Finish: Between 17:35 and 17:48, The Mall, London
- Distance: 91.2km
- To view and download the GPX file of the Stage Three route, click here.
- To see the full timings for Stage Three, click here.
Stage overview from Race Director Scott Sunderland
The Mall is one of the most iconic streets in the world and will be the Start and Finish of our final stage. The riders will face eight laps of a central London circuit, with two sprints on laps three and six where precious bonus seconds and points will be up for grabs.
This stage definitely suits the pure sprinters, who will be searching for the stage win and possibly the overall victory of the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique. Many other riders will be on the hunt for the remaining valuable bonus seconds in a quest to cement their own overall race standings, or points for the overall Sprints Classification.
This is a day for the pure sprinters who will be looking to add a famous win on The Mall to their palmares.
Race Director of the Ford RideLondon Classique
Places of note and where to watch
Pick a spot anywhere along the central London circuit and you’ll see the riders whizz by on multiple occasions for about two hours before they complete the three-day race at The Mall.
- The Mall – one of the world’s most famous stretches of road that runs from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square – will host both the Start and Finish of Stage Three of the Ford RideLondon Classique, in what is one of the most iconic finishes on the UCI Women’s WorldTour. The Mall surface is famously coloured red to give the impression of a red carpet running towards the Royal residence of Buckingham Palace.
Lap one (15:45 to 15:47)
Lap two (16:01 to 16:04)
Lap three – sprint one (16:17 to 16:21)
Lap four (16:32 to 16:39)
Lap five (16:48 to 16:56)
Lap six – sprint two (17:04 to 17:13)
Lap seven (17:19 to 17:30)
Lap eight (17:35 to 17:48)
- One of London’s most famous landmarks, known for its video display and neon signs, Piccadilly Circus connects Regent Steet with Piccadilly. It also includes the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and statue or Anteros – the Greek god of requited love – designed to symbolise the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury for the poor.
Lap one (15:32 to 15:33)
Lap two (15:48 to 15:50)
Lap three (16:04 to 16:07)
Lap four (16:19 to 16:24)
Lap five (16:35 to 16:42)
Lap six (16:51 to 16:59)
Lap seven (17:06 to 17:16)
Lap eight (17:22 to 17:33)
- Connecting Westminster and the City of London, The Strand has been a major thoroughfare in London for centuries. It used to run alongside the Thames but now lies inland due to development of Victoria Embankment. The Strand has been a popular venue for entertainment in London since the early 20th century. Today, it is home to three theatres: the Savoy, Adelphi and Vaudeville.
Lap one (15:33 to 15:34)
Lap two (15:49 to 15:51)
Lap three (16:05 to 16:08)
Lap four (16:21 to 16:26)
Lap five (16:36 to 16:43)
Lap six (16:52 to 17:00)
Lap seven (17:08 to 17:17)
Lap eight (17:23 to 17:35)
- St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in London. It sits on top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the original cathedral was burnt down during the Great Fire of London. It is where King Charles married his first wife, Lady Diana Spencer.
- Located in the heart of the City of London is the Bank of England’s headquarters, which have been on the same site since 1734. The current headquarters were built in the 1920s and are now a London landmark.
Lap one (15:38 to 15:39)
Lap two (15:54 to 15:57)
Lap three (16:10 to 16:14)
Lap four (16:25 to 16:31)
Lap five (16:41 to 16:48)
Lap six (16:57 to 17:06)
Lap seven (17:12 to 17:23)
Lap eight (17:28 to 17:40)
- Running from Blackfriars Bridge in the City of London to Westminster Bridge, the Victoria Embankment is the longest single stretch of the Ford RideLondon Classique route. It runs alongside the River Thames and enables fantastic views from the City up to Westminster Palace and Big Ben.
Predicted timings (Blackfriars Underpass):
Lap one (15:40 to 15:41)
Lap two (15:56 to 15:58)
Lap three (16:11 to 16:15)
Lap four (16:27 to 16:33)
Lap five (16:43 to 16:50)
Lap six (16:58 to 17:07)
Lap seven (17:14 to 17:24)
Lap eight (17:30 to 17:42)
- The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben overlook Parliament Square, which is one of London’s main tourist destinations. It is home to 12 statues including ones of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Lap one (15:43 to 15:44)
Lap two (15:59 to 16:01)
Lap three (16:14 to 16:19)
Lap four (16:30 to 16:36)
Lap five (16:43 to 16:50)
Lap six (17:01 to 17:10)
Lap seven (17:17 to 17:28)
Lap eight (17:33 to 17:45)