The frantic month of May closes with its fourth stage race on the Women’s WorldTour, and after three events in Spain, the peloton heads to the UK for the country’s only women’s top-tier event at the Ford RideLondon Classique held from May 26-28.
The event began life in 2013 as a one-day criterium around some of London’s most iconic sights before being promoted to the WorldTour in the top tier’s first season three years later.
Last season the race expanded to three days, adding two stages in the Essex countryside, north and east of the capital, before the traditional central London finale, and organisers have replicated that route for 2023.
Cyclingnews highlights some of the main talking points ahead of the three-day RideLondon Classique.
Join Cyclingnews’ coverage of the 2023 RideLondon Classique and check back after the event for the full race reports, results, photo galleries, storylines and race analysis
Could SD Worx’s absence bring more open racing?
There’s no doubt SD Worx have been the team of the year to date. Already this season, the Dutch super team have clocked up 25 victories between four of their 16 women, and the majority of those have been at WorldTour level. Indeed, of the 33 Women’s WorldTour victories available so far – including overall general classifications – they have won 20.
Such has been their dominance they seem to have exerted a stranglehold on the peloton, occasionally cowing other teams into inaction. Many times we have seen them close down any move they felt undesirable, whatever the time in the race, attackers’ efforts undermined by the apparent inevitability of another SD Worx success.
But they won’t be in London, despite having recruited last year’s clean sweep winner Lorena Wiebes from DSM, choosing to head to Germany for Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour. Teams will consequently arrive in Saffron Walden for Friday’s opening stage confident their efforts will not be snuffed out by the SD Worx juggernaut, and their absence may even leave a void where squads look to each other to take responsibility.
While there’s a chance this could cause stasis, that is not the nature of women’s racing, and it is more likely to reignite the aggressive, frantic racing the women’s peloton is so well known for, making for exciting viewing.
Anticipation for a sprinter’s race
With its roots as…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…