Mezgec sprints to 11th after Ewan & Juul-Jensen in the breakaway at Prudential Ride LondonSun 29 Jul 2018
Slovenian Luka Mezgec sprinted to 11th place today for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Prudential Ride London Classic, after sprinter Caleb Ewan and Tour de Suisse stage winner Chris Juul-Jensen where active in the two main breakaways of the day.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the eventual winner in the bunch sprint finish after a tough,wet and aggressive day of racing in Britain.
Ewan in the break
The riders set off under heavy grey rainy skies ready for 183km loop in the Surrey lanes, and within the first 15km a breakaway of six riders established itself.
Ewan was present in the move for Mitchelton-SCOTT and with the five other riders, rapidly created a large advantage of over seven minutes ahead of the peloton.
After 60km of racing, the sprnt teams began to pick up the pace to slowly reel in the breakaway riders and eventually Ewan was swept up after his efforts.
Juul-Jensen makes his move
Once the gap to the leaders plummeted below two minutes, Dane Juul-Jensen attacked away from the main peloton on the Ranmore climb, taking with him five other strong riders.
The group quickly caught the remaining breakaway riders, but as they headed over Box Hill the group reduced to just six, with Juul-Jensen still remaining at the front.
Run in to London
The rain continued to pour and on the final 50km run into the finish, on predominately flat roads, sprint teams worked to draw in the dangerous front six ready for a sprint finish and with 15km to go the catch was finally made.
Juul-Jensen and three others tried to better the peloton, fighting to stay ahead, but hovering just 10seconds in front they were finally with seven kilometres to go as the sprint heated up.
Mezgec crossed the line just outside the top ten as Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) stole the race victory.
"It was a super hard race that was raced aggressively from the start. As soon as we hit the small hilly roads the race really increased in speed. The weather also had an influence on way the race developed.
"I was feeling good and was in a comfortable position near the front early on. On the final lap before we rode back towards the center I went on the attack.
"It was our plan to try race aggressively on the hard section of the course. Luckily I got away in a strong group. We worked well together but unfortunately Quickstep-Floors were well organized for Elia Vivani and we were eventually caught with five km to go.
"All in all, it was a very solid race and a good way to re-start the racing legs after several weeks of training."
"It was good to have Chris in there, it looked like a strong breakaway. The race was hard, especially after break and the weather conditions on those roads made it super sketchy.
"I felt reasonable good after the break I had, with a good base, just missing some high intensity which I know can come in time for the next big races."
Prudential Ride London Classic results:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:20
2. Elia Viviani (Quickstep-Floors) ST
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) ST
11. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photo courtesy of Getty Images