Demare wins London-Surrey Classic

French FDJ rider Arnaud Demare was a surprise winner of the London-Surrey Classic, beating Italy’s Sacha Modolo in a sprint finish on the Mall.

The 21-year-old, a former under-23 road world champion, was delivered to the front by his hard-working team.

With higher-profile riders like Peter Sagan and Matt Goss failing to finish, he held off Modolo and Yannick Martinez to claim victory in dry conditions.

Team Sky’s Ben Swift was the highest-placed Briton, coming home 10th.

Earlier in the race, the home crowd had been treated to the sight of David Millar attacking as the peloton climbed Box Hill, 25 miles from the end of the 140-mile variation of last year’s London Olympic course.

Millar’s efforts strung out the field and Demare’s FDJ team-mate Yoann Offredo, along with Garmin Sharp’s Jack Bauer and Great Britain’s Simon Yates, took advantage.

The trio caught a seven-strong early breakaway, who had never been able to build a decisive lead, and it was Offredo and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise’s Zico Waeytens who took on the pace.

The pair fought hard to stay clear, with Offredo doing more than his fair share of time on the front, but they could not keep out of the peloton’s clutches.

With Team Sky and Australian rider Matthew Hayman at the front, the rest of the field had the escapees within sight as they passed over Putney Bridge, 10km from home.

British under-23 road race champion Samuel Harrison produced an audacious solo attempt to snatch the race from the rest of the field with 5km to go.

The Welshman was soon swallowed up, but Millar and Bauer injected pace ahead of The Mall to disrupt the favourites’ plans and allow FDJ to set up Demare.

It was the second time that Modolo has finished second in the event after

he trailed Mark Cavendish home in the 2011 version.

The race followed a mass participation event in which

16,500 cyclists completed a 100-mile version of the course.

On Saturday, London 2012 double gold medallist Laura Trott took revenge on Hannah Barnes – who beat her in June’s London Nocturne – with

victory in the Women’s Grand Prix

ahead of Hannah Barnes.

The events formed part of the RideLondon festival aimed at encouraging Londoners to cycle more.

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