Blythe returns to RideLondon with ORICA-GreenEDGE for title defenceThu 30 Jul 2015
Reigning champion Adam Blythe will return to the Prudential RideLondon Classic with ORICA-GreenEDGE this Sunday motivated for a title defence.
The 25-year-old’s victory at last year’s edition was a key factor in his signing with the WorldTour outfit for the 2015 season.
“Adam is the defending champion and is highly motivated to get another good result,” sport director Matt White said.
“It is a race that is growing in stature. It’s an Olympic legacy race, a lot of the course is similar to the Olympic Games in London, it’s live on television from start to finish and the crowds are massive.”
Blythe will be joined by fellow punchy riders Danish neo-pro Magnus Cort and multiple track world champion Leigh Howard.
The trio give the Australian outfit a number of cards to play on Sunday whilst the work of Sam Bewley and Michael Hepburn direct from San Sebastian the day prior and Dutchman Jens Mouris will also be crucial.
“We want to be present in moves,” White said. “We would be happy with a move with Blythe, Cort or Howard to go the line because they are fast enough guys to contest in a small group.”
“Sam and Michael will come direct from San Sebastian on Saturday night, so they have a tough weekend but as always their work early will be vital.”
Weather is expected to be clear for the London race, a stark contrast to 2014 where rough conditions split the peloton into pieces.
With 50km of flat to finish the 200km Classic, it has the potential to come back together for a bunch sprint or conclude with another successful breakaway.
“Last year we had epic weather conditions,” White said. “It was absolutely feral.”
“It was cold, raining and gale force winds. It tore the field apart – the first 40 guys were within a minute then there were six-minute groups, ten-minute groups and 20-minute groups.
“There is a series of climbs mid-race and that is usually where the action happens. It’s usually an aggressive race through that period and then with six men teams it’s quite a hard one to control.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at Prudential RideLondon Classic (2 August):