RideLondon Classique: Rising talent Ally Wollaston misses out on chance in first WorldTour sprint

In-form New Zealand star felt good but hampered by crash and mechanical, looking to next stages.

Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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MALDON, England (VN) — Rising sprinting talent Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-NXTG Racing) was denied the chance to test herself in a WorldTour sprint after a spate of bad luck on the opening stage of the RideLondon Classique.

Wollaston, who recently took her first professional victory at the GP Morbihan, is hoping to make her mark on the weekend, but a crash and a mechanical took her out of contention on stage 1.

“It was a bit of an unfortunate day for me today,” Wollaston said at the finish. “I crashed pretty early in the race. It was nothing too serious, just a bit of a bump in the road, but then in the end I had a mechanical with 2km to go, so unfortunately I just had to cruise into the finish.

“Very unlucky, because I was feeling good today, I would have loved to be in and amongst the sprint.”

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Wollaston has already raced against top sprinters like Marta Bastianelli at the Bretagne Ladies Classic this spring, where she picked up three podium finishes, but on Friday had her first experience of a full WorldTour peloton.

“It was really cool,” she said. “It was my first ever WorldTour race, so I’m not sure if I was a bit out of my depth. I was a little bit overwhelmed at the start, but it was so much fun and I’m just grateful to be here to be honest.”

Wollaston impressed at the GP Morbihan not just for taking the victory, but by winning from a three-up breakaway with FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope duo Vittoria Guazzini and Grace Brown.

Her efforts earned her a place in the AG Insurance-NXTG Racing roster for RideLondon, and is the team’s designated sprinter here on what is expected to be a sprint-heavy race.

Despite an unlucky start to her WorldTour racing career, Wollaston underlined that she felt good, and is hoping for better in the remaining stages.

“Hopefully I’ll redeem myself tomorrow and the next day. Two more days just means two more opportunities, so hopefully we’ll get it together tomorrow.”

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