Preview Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic


On Sunday 4 August, Lotto Soudal will be in the British capital to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. The WorldTour race, first organised in 2011 as a test event for the Olympic Games of London 2012 will take place for the eighth time. A lot of fast guys, among which Lotto Soudal sprinter Caleb Ewan, will head to London. Sports director Bart Leysen looks ahead.

Bart Leysen: “It is a fairly flat course and the riders will leave London entirely and head into the hills, where they will face ‘Box Hill’  - made famous by the Olympic Games - five times. That is one more ascent compared to previous years. It is nothing like an Ardennes Classic, because the final 50 kilometres are virtually flat. Moreover, the Prudential RideLondon is only 167 kilometres long, while an Ardennes Classic easily goes beyond the 200-kilometre mark.”

“It is all about efforts which follow at short intervals but the fast guys should certainly be able to survive, especially those who rode the Tour. In London, there are always some of the best sprinters at the start, but we will be there with the current best sprinter.”

“If a big group should escape in the first part of the race, we will certainly send a rider up the road. Otherwise, we will control the race, together with the other sprint teams. I don’t think an escapee will win because there are quite some sprinters at the start. Of course, it depends on how the teams without a sprinter want to race.”

“Jasper De Buyst will be the final guy to get Caleb Ewan into a good position. Frederik Frison and Brian van Goethem will have to work to catch the escapees. Stan Dewulf can, if necessary, join an attack. Nikolas Maes will look after Caleb during the race and try the position him in order to start every hill in the best possible way. It is only the second pro race for Gerben Thijssen, so for him it will all be about gaining experience.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Jasper De Buyst, Stan Dewulf, Caleb Ewan, Frederik Frison, Nikolas Maes, Gerben Thijssen and Brian van Goethem.

Sports director: Bart Leysen.