Former winner Michael Matthews returns to the Bretagne Classic

Former winner Michael Matthews will return to racing at the Bretagne Classic on Sunday, fresh and recharged after a triumphant stage win at the Tour de France in July.
The 31-year-old has finished in the top-five on four occasions in the one-day French classic, and he will line-up alongside the man he beat in 2020, Luka Mezgec, who heads to Plouay off the back of a series of one-day races, including a sixth place finish at the European Championships.
Giro d’Italia stage winner Matteo Sobrero and fast finishing Kiwi Dion Smith will be key support riders over the 254km race, together with Jan Maas, Tanel Kangert and Tsgabu Grmay.
The length and undulating nature of the course makes it a demanding one-day race that can equally come down to a reduced bunch sprint or a late race attack. The peloton will face a total of 3,384 metres of climbing, plus a series of gravel sectors in 2022 and a new finishing circuit featuring the Rostervel climb, 9km from the finish line.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Matteo Sobrero (ITA)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Michael Matthews:
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Plouay and the Bretagne Classic, last time I was there I was able to win the race, which was one of my big goals in my career. It’s such a beautiful race and I love the roads around there.
I’m really excited to return this year, obviously I’m not defending the title, but I didn’t get to go back last year after winning in 2020, so it will be good to be back again and I think we have a great team for it too.”
Dave McPartland (Sport Director):
“The parcour is different to other years, there’s some gravel sections that will spice things up and will potentially have an effect on the race and then there’s the hilly circuit, it will be a solid last 50km. It’s a big day, over 250km.
It’s a parcour that suits Michael Matthews and Luka Mezgec, and we’ve got a good team to support those guys. Michael has now proved that he is capable of winning from a breakaway and he has taken confidence out of that, he’s taken confidence in that more aggressive style of riding, he knows he can do it and he knows he can win from racing like that.
That’s a big a bonus, but Plouay is a one-day classic, so it will be different to his Tour de France stage win, but he’s confident in how he can race aggressively now and you need that in this type of race.”

2022 Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France – Race Details:
Sun, 28th Aug: Plouay – Plouay (254.8km)

Photo: Getty Sport