Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic: post-race rider quotes
4 Aug 2019, 7:14 p.m.
Elia Viviani took victory in the 2019 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, while Alex Dowsett was crowned the Continental Tyres King of the Mountains and Stan Dewulf claimed the new Combativity Award presented by ZIPP.
Prudential RideLondon caught up with today's winners to get their thoughts after the race.
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), winner
“I’ve loved racing in London ever since the Olympics in 2012. It was an amazing feeling. I was quite young then and it was a really special course so I kept in mind this race for the future, and when it became a WorldTour one-day Classic I added it to the list of the five races I’ve always wanted to win in my career.
“I really committed with the team to come here, so now I’ve won and I’m really happy. I’ve always thought this is a good race for my legs. I’ve rested a bit since the Tour finished – it was a really tough Tour for us so I’m happy with today’s result.”
“The team put me in a great position as we came past Buckingham Palace. 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.
“I will be back here to defend my title next year 100 per cent!”
Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), runner-up
“I took the spoke out of the front wheel, it was rubbing. My gears stopped working too, so I just did the best I could.
“Maybe I raced the climb too hard but, in the end, with all that happened, there was nothing more I could do.
“I think it (today’s race) was the only opportunity to get a one day world tour win this year, so I’m disappointed not to get it. There was just nothing I could do. If the wheel wasn’t broken I think I could have got past him [Viviani].
“It was good, very aggressive. The race was on all day, there was no let up. It made for some good racing. It was hard if you weren’t in form.”
Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), 3rd place
“I’m really proud; I didn’t expect this. Normally I’m part of the leadout for Elia Viviani and usually when I drop him off with 200m to go it’s not possible for me to also take third place, but today we had a really good run. I’m really happy with the result.
“London is one of the most beautiful places to race. Last Sunday we raced on the Champs-Elysees but here in London it’s amazing too – to be in one of the major capitals in Europe, where there’s a real passion for cycling is great.”
Alex Dowsett, Continental Tyres King of the Mountains winner
“The plan today was to go for the early break. We discussed what to do amongst ourselves and decided to share the points so I think I was possibly the older and wiser one out of the two of us so I made sure I was second up each climb and did everything to secure the overall by winning the last set of points.
“I felt good for the first half of the race but in the second half the lights went out on the final climb of Box Hill. For me to get a King of the Mountains is fairly unheard of so I’ll savour this and bask in my own glory for years to come.
“It was really cool to ride around London and Surrey; it’s nice to race in the UK, not far from home."
Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal), Combativity Award presented by ZIPP
“The tactics were for Caleb [Ewan] and the team – if you have one in a breakaway you don't need to ride in a bunch.
“I felt strong and I had a chance to go in the breakaway and I took my chance and I felt quite good.
“I felt quite good today but with three guys it was quite tough.
“Unfortunately we couldn't sprint with Caleb – I don't know why. I think we tried our best with the team we have.
“It was quite nice. There were a lot of people out here and at the Start, and on the circuit on Box Hill. It was really nice, I enjoyed it.
“I hope to be back next year, it's a nice race.”