A heavy weight of expectation sat on the shoulders of previous winners at the Prudential RideLondon GrandPrix in St James’ Park today – but the women’s peloton surprised us again.
Last year’s winner, Giorgio Bronzini, and 2013 victor, Laura Trott, where the names on everyone’s lips, but it was Barbara Guarischi of Velocio-SRAM who sprinted to first place.
The Italian sprinter donned a skinsuit for the 50 minute criterium race, which followed short 1.3 mile laps in the park in central London.
She was supported by Lisa Brennauer – who won the Aviva Women’s Tour just last month, Loren Rowney, and Trixi Worrack.
Before the race, Guarischi said: “It is never easy to win but with the incredible team all is possible, for all of us” – and she was right.
The yellow glow of Alé Cipollini appeared twice on the podium, with Shelley Olds in second and Annalisa Cucinotta in third.
Attacks began from the early stages, with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling featuring heavily in an attempt to secure a third consecutive win.
However, by the final lap, the peloton was together and sprint trains began lining themselves up for the win. In the end, it was Velocio-SRAM who got the strategy spot on.
UCI World Cup tomorrow…
Many of the riders will also be lining up tomorrow, Sunday 2 August, for the next UCI Women’s World Cup at Sparkassen Giro in Germany.
Lizzie Armitstead, whose Beols-Dolmans team were not racing today, is the current leader and will clearly be looking to hold on to and extend her lead.
If you’re not riding – check out the tons of other attractions that are taking place over the Festival of Cycling in London!