Lorena Wiebes continued her dominance in the Ford RideLondon Classique, securing a thrilling sprint victory in the second stage in Maldon. Covering 142.6km, the stage featured three laps of a challenging circuit, including the key Queen of the Mountains sprint on North Hill in Little Baddow and intermediate sprints in Wickham Bishops.

The day started with 112 riders, notably missing Wiktoria Pikulik, Kate Richardson, and Carlijn Achtereekte, who did not start due to crashes the previous day. Despite several attempts, no early breakaways succeeded. Wiebes herself was involved in a crash with 95km to go but quickly rejoined the race, although teammates Megan Jastrab and Karolina Karasiewicz had to abandon.

Wiebes was aggressive early on, taking maximum QOM points and bonus seconds on the first ascent of North Hill and winning the first intermediate sprint. Despite a subsequent crash involving several of her teammates, Wiebes and her team regrouped quickly.

In the last kilometres, Canyon-SRAM made several attempts to establish a breakaway, but Lotte Kopecky of SD Worx-Protime was vigilant, keeping the group intact. Kopecky then attacked on the final climb, reducing the peloton significantly.

The peloton going through the finish line

Final Sprint

In the last stretch, the sprint trains of Uno-X Mobility and DSM-Firmenich PostNL led the peloton. Kopecky, sitting in third wheel, launched her final attack, with Wiebes closely following. As the road ascended in the last 500 metres, Kopecky’s wide turn opened up the inside lane for Wiebes, who accelerated away to claim victory. Charlotte Kool managed to catch up to Kopecky’s slipstream, passing her to secure second place, leaving Kopecky in third.

“I had a good day today,” said Wiebes. “On the hills, I was able to grab the full pot of bonification seconds twice. However, it didn’t start very well. In the crash, I was lucky to land on my feet. Lotte Kopecky and Femke Gerritse were on the ground. We had to chase to get back in the peloton. But in the end, everything came together, and Lotte Kopecky rode a fantastic final.”

General Classification Update

With her consecutive stage wins, Wiebes leads the general classification by 20 seconds over Kopecky and 21 seconds over Letizia Paternoster. “That’s really great, and I hope we can hold it until tomorrow evening,” Wiebes said, looking ahead to the final stage in London.

Danish champion Rebecca Koerner of Uno-X Mobility all but confirmed her victory in the Queen of the Mountains competition, holding a comfortable lead in points.

The race saw several other notable performances. Eleonora Gasparrini secured a top ten finish and retained the White Jersey as the best young rider. “In the final, Eugenia Bujak was left in the leading group to work. The slightly uphill sprint was won again by Lorena Wiebes, who also remains the GC leader,” said Gasparrini.

Charlotte Kool, who finished second, reflected on the chaotic nature of the stage. “Today was really chaotic but the team did amazing all day. It’s really sad we lost Megan in the crash and it took a while before everyone was back in the bunch after. Today I felt really good on the climbs, especially in the final ones,” Kool said.

Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL coach Kelvin Dekker added, “We analysed yesterday’s finish and knew what we wanted to bring into today. It was a really hectic first one and a half hours of racing where basically everyone hit the ground at some point and then we sadly lost Megan from the race. We had to adjust some roles and we adapted really well to the circumstances.”

Lorena Wiebes & Lotte Kopecky

Tomorrow’s Stage

Tomorrow’s finale in London promises excitement as the riders tackle an 8-lap, 91km stage starting and finishing on The Mall. With no QOM points at stake, the focus will be on the sprint and overall classification battles, where Wiebes aims to celebrate her potential overall victory on The Mall.

2024 RideLondon Classique Stage 2 result

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All photo credits: Ford RideLondon