Kirsten Wild was the first rider across the line on the Mall at the Prudential RideLondon Classique yesterday evening – only to have the victory taken away from her after she was adjudged to have caused a crash that saw a number of riders hit the deck.
The victory – and €25,000 first prize for winning what is the richest one-day race on the Women’s WorldTour calendar – instead went to Lorena Wiebes of Parkhotel Valkenburg.
Wild seemed to have taken a record third victory in the one-day race, first held in 2013, and which this year comprised 20 laps of a new 3.4-kilometre course based around St James’s Park and Constitution Hill.
The WNT-Rotor rider said it was “the best feeling to beat the best sprinters in the world” but was subsequently disqualified after being “judged to have deviated from her chosen line and endangered other riders.”
Wild’s move caused Chloe Hosking of Ale-Cipollini to clip her rear wheel, with the Australian crashing and around 20 other riders also coming down.
Following further review, Wild’s disqualification was amended to her being relegated to last place – 37th – in the front group.
Race director Mick Bennett said that while “a number of riders crashed during the final sprint, initial reports confirm that there were no serious injuries”.
The 20-year-old Wiebes, who in June became the Dutch national road race champion, said: “I didn't have a very good position over the last five kilometres so I had to go to the front and start my sprint really early.
It was a surprise win at the end. Kirsten came over in the last 50 metres but she was disqualified so it was really surprising. It's just crazy.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.