RideLondon: Adam Blythe takes victory in sprint on The Mall
Last Updated: 10/08/14 7:00pm
Adam Blythe pulled off an impressive victory at the RideLondon - Surrey Classic with a well-timed sprint.
The Brit made his way into an elite five-man group on the run back into the centre of London and made a statement with victory over WorldTour rivals.
After two years at BMC Racing, Blythe stepped down to third-tier UK domestic squad NFTO in 2014 and pulled off a huge victory in front of a packed crowd.
Fellow Brit Ben Swift finished a close second after his Team Sky team-mates had endeavoured to split the race apart in the Surrey lanes.
Both riders infiltrated the race’s winning move as an elite group of 11 riders headed into the closing stages. That pack was whittled down to five during a tense final run-in and it was Blythe who jumped early in the sprint and held on to the finish.
Swift looked to chase down his compatriot but had to settle for second place on the day, while Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) rounded out the podium.
After a spate of attacks through Richmond Park six riders went clear as the race headed out of London and into the lanes. With Team Sky seemingly happy with the move the break saw its advantage extend as heavy rain and wind buffeted the peloton.
Team Kuota set about pacing the bunch, pegging the gap at around one and a half minutes. With 90km to go Team Sky hit the front on the Denbies loop, stringing out the peloton and thinning out the bunch with Ian Stannard and Ian Boswell burying themselves for the cause.
The increase in pace spelt the end for the original break with 76km to go and Nathan Earle and Sir Bradley Wiggins were on hand to continue the momentum.
With the peloton stretched to breaking point, on the approach to Box Hill a dangerous move of 12 riders formed, including Blythe, Swift and former world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing).
Gilbert was full of riding and his attack through Wimbledon split the break, leaving just five riders who went on to contest a spectacular finish around the iconic landmarks of London.