RideLondon Classique: Chloé Dygert wins stage 2 as Charlotte Kool crashes in final kilometre

Chloé Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) won stage 2 of the RideLondon Classique in the sprint of a small group ahead of Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) and Soraya Paladin (Canyon-SRAM).

A front group of about 25 riders formed inside 30km to go, and Maike van der Duin (Canyon-SRAM) attacked from this group 12km from the line. She had an advantage of up to 38 seconds but was caught on the short but steep climb up Maldon High Street on the final kilometre.

Stage 1 winner and overnight leader Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) and Clara Copponi (FDJ-SUEZ) had gone down in a crash just before the flamme rouge. Paladin took the lead on the climb but let her teammate Dygert come past before the final corner, and Dygert held off Deignan to the line to win.

Despite her crash, Kool finished the stage and maintained her overall race lead now five seconds ahead of Deignan and ten seconds ahead of Dygert.

“I had a little bit of bad luck yesterday, but we had great opportunities today. Maike almost had the win solo, and then Soraya led me out perfectly for that finish,” said Dygert.

“We did a really good job working together, it was pretty hectic at the beginning, but once it kind of thinned out on those QOMs, things really started to take off from everybody. It really made the race fun, and coming to the finish, it was great,” Dygert continued.

The stage win is Dygert’s first individual Women’s WorldTour victory and seals her comeback to the top after a long recovery from the horror crash in the 2020 World ITT Championships.

“I worked really hard, but I’ve had such great support. Canyon-SRAM has stayed by my side through this whole process and never gave up on me. Neither did my personal team, my family, and my boyfriend, so I’m really happy that I was able to pull this off for everybody. It was a team effort,” Dygert finished.

How it unfolded

April Tacey (Lifeplus-Wahoo) went on a solo early on the 133.1-kilometre stage that started and finished in Maldon. Her advantage maxed out at 2:45 minutes, but she was reeled in again before the first QOM sprint up Church Road in Wickham Bishops after 61km.

Tacey’s teammate Typhaine Laurance was next to get away. The Frenchwoman won the second QOM sprint on North Hill in Little Baddow and had a one-minute gap for a while but was caught just before the next ascent of North Hill. Paladin took the QOM points, but as long as she finishes stage 3, Hanna Johansson will win the QOM jersey.

The accelerations on the climb saw 33 riders pull away from the rest of the peloton, and this was the decisive move. Various attacks came from this group on the final loop around North Hill, but nobody could get a gap until Van der Duin made her move with 12km to go.

With only Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) chasing, Van der Duin could increase her advantage to 38 seconds with 7km to go, but when Trek-Segafredo put Lauretta Hanson and Lucinda Brand to work, the gap started to come down again.

Van der Duin was still 15 seconds ahead at the two-kilometre mark. Behind her, a high-speed crash took out more than half of the chase group, including Kool and Copponi, but the 300-metre, eight-percent climb up Maldon High Street was too much for Van der Duin, anyway.

When the group flew past, Paladin took the lead with Deignan and Dygert in her wheel. Dygert moved past the other two riders just before the final turn 150 metres from the line and won the stage with several bike lengths to Deignan.

Due to the crash, time differences in the first group were neutralised, meaning that Kool still leads the race overall, five seconds ahead of Deignan and ten seconds ahead of Dygert.


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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.

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