Viviani sprints to second in RideLondon Classic
The Italian Champion finished on the podium for the 22nd time this year after a hard day in the saddle.
First World Tour one-day race of the summer, RideLondon Classic (183 kilometers) didn't give a warm welcome to the 139 riders lining out at the start, who faced blowing gale, spitting rain and cold temperatures for one of the toughest editions in the short history of the event, which quickly took its toll on the peloton, dozens of riders being forced to call it a day on the hilly circuit in Surrey, that six years ago hosted the road race at the Olympic Games.
The harsh conditions and challenging parcours which included also the iconic Box Hill didn't stop Quick-Step Floors from controlling the race behind the six escapees, who carved out a seven-minute advantage, which allowed the final survivors of that move to stay in the lead until with six kilometers to go, when the charging bunch overhauled them and began assembling the sprint trains with the spectacular finish on The Mall just a stone's throw away.
In his first event after a lengthy altitude training camp, Elia Viviani confirmed his amazing consistencey and was again in the mix, despite not racing since last month's National Championships, where he conquered a maiden title in spectacular style, and finished in the top 3 for the 22nd time this season, behind Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe). Sunday's result not only that confirmed the Italian's status as one of this year's top sprinters, but also catapulted him to third in the individual World Rankings, making him the best placed Quick-Step Floors rider.
Photo credit: ©Michael Steele/ Getty Images