RideLondon comes through town again
Jean-Pierre Drucker produced the sprint of his life to win the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic beating Britain's Ben Swift and Dutchman Mike Teunissen on The Mall in central London to claim the first victory of his professional career.
The 28-year-old was part of an eight-strong group of cyclists that burst clear of the peloton with a quarter of the 200-kilometre race to go before four riders hared up Whitehall and under Admiralty Arch in pursuit of glory.
Swift led them up The Mall with the Finish Line in sight and Buckingham Palace visible in the distance, the Team Sky sprinter desperate to make amends for last year when he lost by a hair’s width to Adam Blythe.
Earlier the riders had been cheered on by thousands of onlookers in Wimbledon as they powered up Wimbledon Hill Road, into Wimbledon Village and along Wimbledon Parkside before heading into central London.
Drucker had been tailing Swift, but the Luxembourg rider launched his attack with 50 metres to go, surprising the Briton and Lotto NL-Jumbo's Teunissen to take a hard-earned victory built on brilliant teamwork by his experienced BMC Racing Team.
Drucker threw his arm in the air as he crossed the line to thunderous roars, a huge grin breaking out on his bearded face.
"To get my first professional win in front of Buckingham Palace is so special," said Drucker. "The crowd here is so crazy about cycling, it’s fantastic to get my first win here. I love racing in England. I did the Tour of Yorkshire this year and that was fantastic too. After getting my first pro win here, I love it even more."
Earlier in the day, 25,824 amateur riders left Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the
RideLondon-Surrey 100 event. They also cycled through Wimbledon -giving residents something to cheer all day.
They included Mayor of Merton’s rider Tony Richards who crossed the finishing line in The Mall six hours and 24 minutes after leaving the start line.
Mayor Of Merton Councillor David Chung said: "This is fantastic news. It was great meeting up with Tony on the day, when he stopped for a well-deserved refreshment break in Wimbledon after conquering Leith Hill and box Hill. Well done to him and to all the other riders. I know a lot of money was raised for many good causes. And it's wonderful that my chosen charities are set to benefit too. Thank you to everyone who sponsored Tony."
Tony said: "Completing the event is a huge reward and I am very proud to have been chosen to represent the Mayor of Merton’s charities this year. It was great to ride alongside so many talented cyclists, most of whom are riding for their own charitable causes. Spectators gave massive amounts of support throughout the ride, especially in Merton, where hundreds of supporters were cheering. This gave me a much-needed boost for the last 10 miles to the finish."
August 7, 2015