LONDON (Reuters) - Italian Olympic champion Elia Viviani roared to victory in the RideLondon Surrey Classic on Sunday with a perfectly-timed surge to the line on The Mall.
The sprint-specialist, runner-up last year, was given the perfect run-in by his Deceuninck-Quick-Step colleagues before taking matters into his own hands.
Just as in the women’s race 24 hours earlier, a crash marred the race with several riders going down 2km from the finish of the 169km route around.
But Viviani stayed safe and beat Bora-Hansgrohe’s Irish rider Sam Bennett to the line, with Denmark’s national champion Michael Morkov third.
“I saw some guys go down in the crash but luckily we were on the right side and we missed it,” Viviani said.
“The team put me in a great position as we came past Buckingham Palace (just before The Mall). I was with Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov and we were in the middle of the group so we just missed the crash and, with the wind in my pocket, I liked the new finish.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Tony Lawrence