LONDON (Reuters) - Luxembourg’s Jean-Pierre Drucker sprinted to victory in the 200km RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday, the BMC rider edging out Dutchman Mike Teunissen and Briton Ben Swift.
With the peloton, which included seven UCI WorldTour teams, shredded in the Surrey hills on a warm day, only four men were left in contention on The Mall and Drucker timed his surge to perfection to claim the biggest win of his career.
The thousands of fans who lined the route around some of London’s landmarks had hoped to see Briton Mark Cavendish contesting a bunch sprint, but the searing pace took its toll and the Etixx-Quick-Step rider did not feature.
Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, also failed to make an impact.
“I’m a fast guy so I was pretty confident and when I looked to Swift in the closing stages he looked a bit nervous,” Drucker told the BBC. “I tried to keep his wheel and focus on him.
“I’m a sprinter who loves it when the race is pretty hard and my team tried to make it a hard race.
“To get my first professional win in front of Buckingham Palace is so special. The crowd here is so crazy about cycling.”
Cavendish, who took his Tour de France stage win tally to 26 last month, rolled home in 44th place, having briefly attacked out in front with Rohan Dennis with an hour of racing to go.
An eight-man group then got clear and the main bunch gave up the chase, leaving Drucker to triumph in the sunshine.
Team Sky rider Swift was also pipped to victory last year.
Earlier, thousands of recreational and club riders had tackled a 100-mile mass participation event on the same route.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond