Matthews to lead ORICA-BikeExchange at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

Thu 28 Jul 2016

Fresh from his stage victory at the Tour de France, Michael Matthews will head to London this weekend with his ORICA-BikeExchange teammates ready for his debut in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

Now in it's fourth year the 200km one-day event is a variation of the London 2012 Olympic Road Race with undulating roads and five second-category climbs.

"We are expecting it to be a very attacking race," explained sport director Matt Wilson. "We have options for the different scenarios that could unfold."

"With Matthews, he is a clear leader for the race but like any one-day event anything can happen so we will still be keeping our options open."

Joining the world championship silver medalist is experienced duo in Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman and Canadian Svein Tuft.

New Zealander Sam Bewley and Australian Mitch Docker add to the team's firepower with 23-year-old Damian Howson rounding up the six-man squad.

"The guys are all in good shape," Wilson continued. "Obviously Matthews and Hayman are coming straight from the Tour and the other guys have been racing lots so we have a really good, strong team going into the weekend."

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 as seen in the previous editions.

"It starts and finishes in the city and the race goes up a different climb than some of the editions before. The circuit isn't exactly the same as the first years, so it's a bit more of an unknown."    

"The race hasn't finished with a sprint in the last two years, although with the circuit and final climb quite far from the finish it looks like it has a good chance to end that way."  

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic starts at Horse Guards Parade before heading out onto the country roads through Surrey, climbing up Leith Hill, Box Hill and over the Ranmore climb three times before returning to The Mall, retracing the London 2012 Olympic Games route and continuing the legacy. 

ORICA-BikeExchange at Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (31st July):

Sam Bewley (NZL, 29) 
Mitch Docker (AUS, VIC, 29) 
Mathew Hayman (AUS, NSW, 38)
Damien Howson (AUS, SA, 23)
Michael Matthews (AUS, ACT, 25)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 38)