Charlotte Kool (DSM) took victory on the third and final stage of the RideLondon-Classique.
In a bunch sprint on the Mall in London, Kool edged out Chloe Dygert and Maike van der Duin (both Canyon-SRAM), in a blanket finish between the three.
The result means that Kool seals overall victory, with Dygert sealing second overall and Lizzie Deignan rounding off the final podium in third.
Dygert moved up after winning bonus seconds in both the finishing sprint, as well as more in an earlier intermediate sprint.
In the finishing sprint, Kool followed the wheel of her lead-out rider Pfeiffer Georgi, who in turn followed UAE Team Emirates’ Karolina Kumięga as she led the peloton in the final metres.
Dygert launched her sprint with her Canyon-SRAM teammate Van der Duin in her wheel, but neither rider quite had the kick to defeat Kool.
‘I’m really happy,’ was the Dutch rider’s reply when asked how she felt at the finish. ‘I think this one is really from the team, how we did it today again, how strong the girls did, it’s really impressive.’
Earlier in the stage, the chances of a bunch sprint were put under threat by a strong three-rider break consisting of Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Victoire Berteau (Cofidis) and Grace Lister (DAS-Handsling). With about 30km to go, this trio still had an advantage of almost 1-30 over the peloton, before being caught about 10km from the finish.
But Kool said the presence of the three riders actually played into her favour.
‘I think it was a bit in our benefit that there were a lot of GC riders who wanted to keep the GC close. For us, the bonus seconds were not a problem, and neither were the girls in front. So for us it was a good situation, as they tried to close it. It worked out for us!’
Kool showed little sign of the crash she suffered at the end of yesterday’s stage, but she did admit to being in some discomfort early in the day.
‘It was really tough this morning, I felt really, really bad. So I’m really happy that I could even just stay in this stage still, as well as take the GC home. I think this is really one for the team. They kept me really hyped, and the way they rode today was really impressive.’
Kool now turns her attention to the Tour de France Femmes in July, where she is expected to go head-to-head with sprinting rival Lorena Wiebes in the bunch finishes.
‘‘This was the next goal, and we go now to the Tour, which will be my main goal of the summer. I’m really looking forward to it.’