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Thrilling field for Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

A thrilling mix of elite sprinters, some of the best one-day riders in the world and a selection of cycling’s most exciting young talent will compete at the 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday 31 July.

German sprint star Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), former World Champion Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Britain’s rising sprinting star Dan McLay will all be vying for the win at the richest one-day race in the world which is televised live by BBC TV.

Greipel, winner of three stages of the Giro d’Italia in May, and McLay have been battling in sprint finishes at the Tour de France with the 24-year-old Brit – who finished third on stage six – being one of the revelations of Le Tour.

McLay will compete in a formidable looking Great Britain team that includes two reigning national title holders: road race champion Adam Blythe and time-trial king Alex Dowsett.

Seven UCI WorldTour teams head up the race with 2015 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic winner Jean-Pierre Drucker returning with his BMC Racing team.

Drucker, who will wear the number one on his back as the defending champion, is part of a strong BMC team which includes one-day specialists Daniel Oss (Italy) and Marcus Burghardt (Germany).

British powerhouse squad Team Sky will be looking for their first win in their home event with Ben Swift twice coming desperately close to victory, finishing runner-up in 2014 and third last year.

Australia’s Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews will lead the Orica – BikeExchange team’s charge. The 25-year-old, who won a silver medal at last year’s World Championships road race, is joined in the team by this year’s Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman.

Former world champion Boonen (Belgium) will head a typically strong Etixx – Quick-Step line up that will also include Niki Terpstra (Netherlands) and Matteo Trentin (Italy) while 2014 Tour of Britain winner Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands) will be leading the Cannondale-Drapac challenge.

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “This is the strongest field we have ever assembled for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

“We are delighted to welcome Jean-Pierre Drucker back as defending champion and we have a stellar list of names who will be vying to take the title away from him.

“If it comes down to a sprint on The Mall, Andre Greipel is sure to be one of the men to beat but the thrilling emergence of our own Dan McLay at this year’s Tour de France shows he is more than capable of recording a win on home roads.

“Tom Boonen, one of the greatest riders of his era, is coming to London with a powerful Etixx-Quick-Step team. And 2014 champion Adam Blythe, now the new Great Britain national champion, is back and looking to become the first to win this race twice. Adam showed his form by beating Mark Cavendish in a sprint to win the national title last month and he will be full of confidence.

“All the ingredients are in place to ensure this race once again lives up to its Classic name.”

As well as the seven WorldTour teams, there is a strong contingent of ProContinental teams in the line-up, all of which have the potential to spring a surprise.

Tour de France competitors Direct Energie have a roster full of talent while Belgium teams Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Topsport Vlaanderen and all-Dutch outfit Roompot Oranje Peloton are one-day specialists. Italian squad Bardiani – CSF will also be hoping to make an impact, particularly if it’s a fast finish.

British team One Pro Cycling will be looking to build on an impressive first year at ProContinental level which has seen them rack up nine wins this season. They will be looking to Australian fast-man Steele Von Hoff if it all comes down to a sprint on The Mall.

There are seven UCI Continental teams which include Sir Bradley Wiggins’ squad Team Wiggins. They will be alongside five other British teams: NFTO, Madison Genesis, Team Raleigh GAC, Pedal Heaven and JLT Condor – plus Irish squad An Post – Chain Reaction.

2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic full line-up:

  • BMC (USA)
  • Team Sky (Great Britain)
  • Etixx – Quickstepp (Belgium)
  • Lotto Soudal (Belgium)
  • Cannondale Drapac (USA)
  • Orica BikeExchange (Australia)
  • Dimension Data (South Africa)
  • Topsport Vlaanderen (Belgium)
  • CCC Sprand-Polkowice (Poland)
  • Team ROTH (Switzerland)
  • Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (Spain)
  • One Pro Cycling (Great Britain)
  • Bardiani – CSF (Italy)
  • Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Belgium)
  • Roompot Oranje Peloton (Netherlands)
  • Direct Energie (France)
  • JLT Condor (Great Britain)
  • NFTO (Great Britain)
  • Madison Genesis (Great Britain)
  • Team Raleigh GAC (Great Britain)
  • Team Wiggins (Great Britain)
  • Pedal Heaven (Great Britain)
  • An Post – Chain Reaction (Ireland)
  • Great Britain national team

The race will be shown live on BBC TV for the fourth successive year.

The organisers of the weekend festival of cycling will deliver an extensive community engagement programme with the support of TfL, the London boroughs on the route and Surrey County Council to help residents and businesses along the route plan ahead. This will include pre-awareness campaign posters on the transport network, a series of customer information emails and a leaflet drop in July to 1 million+ residents and businesses along the route. Information on travel disruption and advice will be available on  www.tfl.gov.uk/ridelondon . To avoid delays over the event weekend, all drivers are advised to avoid areas near the event routes.