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Lorena Wiebes Dominates RideLondon Classique 2024: Key Highlights and Takeaways

By Megan Flotorp

In a thrilling climax in London on Sunday, May 26th, Lorena Wiebes of SD Worx-Protime claimed victory in the final stage of the 2024 RideLondon Classique, securing her dominance by winning all three stages — just like she did last year!

The race, which spanned Essex and London, concluded at The Mall in London, where Wiebes was expertly led out by her teammate, world champion Lotte Kopecky, to clinch the victory. Charlotte Kool (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) finished second, with Kopecky taking third, mirroring the podium from Saturday’s stage.

In the general classification, Kool secured the runner-up spot, finishing 25 seconds behind Wiebes. Kopecky, just a second further back, rounded out the top three, pushing Letizia Paternoster (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) into fourth based on stage placing countback.

Final stage drama: Wiebes seals the hat-trick

The final stage of the RideLondon Classique, a 91.2km race through central London, was marked by high tension. Riders navigated a tight city circuit encompassing iconic landmarks such as the London Eye, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. Early breakaway attempts were quickly neutralised by the dominant teams at the front.

The decisive moment came in the last stretch of the race. Charlotte Kool of dsm firmenich PostNL made a daring move to overtake the SD Worx-Protime riders, but it was Wiebes who crossed the finish line first, followed closely by Kool and Lotte Kopecky, who completed the podium.

Wiebes expressed her delight, stating, “Winning on a flat stage in such an iconic city is fantastic. My team did an excellent job keeping us safe throughout the race, especially after a teammate’s crash.”

Lorena Wiebes
In a thrilling climax in London on Sunday, May 26th, Lorena Wiebes of SD Worx-Protime claimed victory in the final stage of the 2024 RideLondon Classique. © Profimedia

A closer look at Stage 3

From the outset, the racing was intense. Attempts to break away were swiftly countered, and the peloton stayed compact. A crash at the 67km mark involving Barbara Guarischi (SD Worx-Protime) and six others disrupted the flow, but fortunately, all riders were able to continue after quick bike swaps.

The first intermediate sprint, just under 60km to go, saw Georgia Baker of Liv AlUla Jayco lead teammate Letizia Paternoster to victory, pushing Paternoster to second place in the general classification. Despite several breakaway efforts, it was with only 45km remaining that Kaja Rysz of Lifeplus Wahoo managed to create a significant gap, later joined by Scarlett Souren of Volker Wessels. Their lead, however, was short-lived as the peloton, driven by the sprint teams, reeled them in before the second intermediate sprint.

As the final 20km approached, the peloton was tightly controlled, with teams like dsm firmenich-PostNL, Lidl-Trek, Canyon-SRAM, and Liv AlUla Jayco riding in formation. A mechanical issue for Clara Copponi (Lidl-Trek) threatened to derail her efforts, but with the help of her teammates, she rejoined the group just in time for the final lap.

In the last lap, the pace intensified. Despite attempts by other teams to disrupt the front, SD Worx-Protime’s strategic positioning and Kopecky’s leadout proved decisive. As Kool made a last-ditch effort on the right, Wiebes surged ahead, securing her third stage win and confirming her overall victory.

Stage 2: Another win for Wiebes

The second stage was arduous, with Lorena Wiebes extending her lead. The race featured numerous attacks and counterattacks, with significant contributions from Christine Majerus of SD Worx-Protime, who controlled the pace. Wiebes capitalised on both mountain and sprint points, building a substantial lead.

The final ascent saw aggressive moves from riders like Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Soraya Paladin (Canyon//Sram Racing). Kopecky again played a crucial role, supporting Wiebes, who sprinted to victory, followed by Kool and Kopecky in third.

Stage 1: Wiebes sets the tone

The opening stage, 150 km from Saffron Walden to Colchester, was marked by early breakaways and strategic sprints. A notable early attack featured Rebecca Koerner (Uno-X Mobility), April Tacey (Coop-Repsol), and Lea Lin Teutenberg (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling), who stayed ahead for much of the race.

Despite multiple attempts from the peloton to catch up, the leaders were caught only in the final 16km. Alice Towers (Canyon//Sram Racing) and Loretta Hansen (Lidl-Trek) made a late bid for the lead, but the powerhouses of dsm firmenich PostNL and SD Worx-Protime dominated the final kilometres. Wiebes, expertly led by Kopecky, sprinted to victory, setting the tone for the following stages.

Key takeaways from RideLondon Classique 2024

Lorena Wiebes’ dominance: Winning all three stages and the overall classification, Wiebes showcased her exceptional sprinting prowess and strategic insight.

Team SD Worx-Protime’s strategy: The coordinated efforts of SD Worx-Protime, particularly the contributions of Lotte Kopecky, were instrumental in Wiebes’ success.

Charlotte Kool’s consistency: Kool’s tenacity and sprinting prowess ensured she finished second in both the final stage and the general classification. Her performance throughout the race highlighted her as a formidable competitor and a consistent podium finisher.

Tactical breakaways: The final stage saw several attempts at breakaways, notably by Kaja Rysz and Scarlett Souren. Although the peloton ultimately reeled in these efforts, they added excitement and demonstrated the tactical depth within the teams.

Intermediate Sprints: The intermediate sprints played a crucial role in the race dynamics, with teams like Liv AlUla Jayco and AG Insurance-Soudal strategically positioning their riders to gain valuable points and time bonuses.

In summary, the 2024 RideLondon Classique will be marked by Lorena Wiebes’ clean sweep, strategic team efforts, and the riders’ resilience. The racing has been fierce so far this season, and we look forward to seeing things kick into ultra-high gear with the biggest stage races yet to come!