RideLondon-Surrey Classic: Alexander Kristoff wins in sprint finish

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Kristoff wins sprint to take RideLondon title

Alexander Kristoff surged clear of his rivals to win the RideLondon-Surrey Classic in a bunch sprint finish.

The Norwegian, 30, kicked away with 200m to go on the Mall and held off a late charge from Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen in second.

Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews finished third for the second straight year.

The 183km race only came down to a sprint finish after a two-man break was caught inside the final kilometre.

“We’ve only had one week rest since the Tour de France so I didn’t know my shape as I didn’t train too much,” Kristoff told BBC Sport.

“I had a great party at home a few days ago, and usually I race well after a party, so maybe that’s a tactic I should use again.”

Victory was a deserved result for Kristoff’s Katusha-Alpecin team, who did most of the work in chasing down Quick-Step’s Matteo Trentin and Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven in the final stages.

Trentin had broken clear alongside Orica-Scott’s Daryl Impey with around 60km to go as part of a move started by Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh.

Briton Kennaugh soon faded but Stuyven bridged across with 50km remaining to form a strong leading trio that sustained a gap of about 20 seconds over a disorganised peloton until Impey cracked on a sharp drag in Wimbledon.

Trek did their best to disrupt the chase for Belgian team-mate Stuyven but he and Italian Trentin were duly caught as Ireland’s Sam Bennett led out the sprint, only for Kristoff to blitz past him.

“I tried really hard to win the race but maybe the route was just 1km too short,” said Trentin, who won the sprints classification.

“Without Daryl Impey dropping off, we probably would have made it to the finish but it is what it is.”

Kristoff, who failed to win a stage in a disappointing Tour de France this year, won bronze in the 2012 Olympic road race on a similar course that also ended on the Mall.

He becomes the first rider to win the Classic – billed as the world’s richest one-day race with a total prize pool of 100,000 euros (£89,500) – since it was awarded the top-tier World Tour status last year.

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