Boonen timed his sprint on The Mall to perfection, poised behind Renshaw ready to pounce. With around 200m to go, the Dimension Data rider moved off the barriers allowing the Belgian to power past over the line.
“I'm really happy to win," Boonen said. “It’s 10 years since I’ve won in London. It was a hard day as everyone was going bananas. Everyone was fighting for every metre of the road.
“I was dropped twice and I had a puncture once,” he said. “But my team did an incredible job to close it down and get me ready for the sprint.
“I waited for the perfect moment and I had the legs to finish it off.”
Renshaw acknowledged his error after the race.
“At 200m to go I decided to make my move and it seemed like I’d got it,” said Renshaw. “But I made a human error and moved off the barriers and that’s when Tom came through.”
As it happened
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas helped his team shut down the day's early break which contained defending champion Jempy Drucker (BMC). With around 50 kilometres to go, the Welshman flew up Box Hill finding himself alone.
“We wanted to ride aggressively today so I made a move on Box Hill hoping someone would come with me but I found myself out on my own,” Thomas said.
“It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing but I’d bought my ticket by then so I just had to bite the bullet and try and go. But I was always going to be up against it."
With 20kms to go, Thomas still held a minute's advantage over the peloton and as the kilometres ticked down, it seemed he would escape with the win. But Etixx-Quickstep worked hard to pull him back.
“It was only with about 35 to 40km to go that we started to pull back the break and it finally came back together with 5km left." Boonen said.
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) July 31, 2016