Colbrelli sprints to 3rd at the Bretagne Classic Ouest-France
In Plouay Viviani (Team SKY) took the bunch sprint ahead of Kristoff (Team Katusha-Alpecin) and BAHRAIN MERIDA Team’s Italian sprinter
Bretagne Classic Ouest-France Race 2017.
PLOUAY – 227,8 km + extra circuit of 13,9 km = 241,7 km in total
Plouay, France, 27th August – The Bretagne Classic, also called Bretagne Classic Ouest–France, is an elite cycling classic held annually in late summer around the Breton village of Plouay in western France.
The race was originally named Grand–Prix de Plouay and, from 1989 to 2015, GP Ouest–France. It was included in the inaugural UCI ProTour in 2005 and in 2011 in its successor, the UCI World Tour. Since 2016 it is called Bretagne Classic Ouest–France.
Since 2002, a women’s event, the GP Plouay–Bretagne is organized on Saturday, the day before the men’s race. Supporting events have grown over the years and now include BMX races, track racing and a mass-participation ride, as part of a four–day festival in the last summer weekend in Brittany. Today was the 81st edition of this race with 227,8 km and one circuit of 13,9 km, which made a total of 241,7 km.
It was a sunny day with 13km/h NE wind at the start of a very demanding and very hard classic race.
TBM riders had a very detailed meeting with Philippe Mauduit, the sports director, who gave precise instructions to the riders to save the energy for the long race and for the last kilometers that may be decisive. Not to hurry with breakaways but rather to stick together and be compact up to the last kilometers, where everyone in the team should help Colbrelli and Bonifazio getting safely to the right position for the final loop.
After the race started, there were 9 riders in a breakaway group with a maximum gap of 9 minutes. TBM riders worked great all the way. At 100 km to the finish, the breakaway gap was around 5 minutes with Team Sunweb and Team SKY dictating the tempo of the peloton. With 75 km to go, the gap dropped to 1.5 minutes. Two Quickstep Floor riders, Vakoc and Devenyns, formed the second chasing group of 5 riders at 50 km to go and the peloton was under a minute. With about 20 km to go just two riders remained in the break with a small gap and other riders soon caught them. The race became even more dynamic in the final ascent of Côte de Timarec, with the Bettiol’s attack but his dream of a solo win was doomed to failure.
As expected, in the last kilometers all the riders joined together. Sonny Colbrelli was well positioned when the sprint had been launched but not so good in the final meters, where Elia Viviani was the strongest and outsprinted Alexander Kristoff and BAHRAIN MERIDA Team’s sprinter.
Sonny Colbrelli commented soon after crossing the finish line: »It was a really hard race. I was in front position for the finale, but unfortunately they anticipated me. I’m thankful for my team that was very strong today.«
Philippe Mauduit, TBM Sports Director, said after the race: »It was a really hard day today, because of stage’s profile and high temperatures. But at the end we had a great finish, with Sonny on the podium. Of course, our goal is always to win but we can be satisfied that our sprinter came back to his level. We missed the time to go into the first breakaway, but it was not our aim. We should have someone in the second one, but sometimes you have to make a choice and, actually, today the choice was not bad. Our guys showed a great team work and this always pays back in the end.«
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