A breakaway stays away to win on a rainy day in Bretagne-Classic Ouest-FranceSun 26 Aug 2018
The lengthy 257km one-day race, Bretagne-Classic Ouest-France, saw a trio of riders breakaway and battle it out for the victory with Mitchelton-SCOTT rider Daryl Impey taking 32nd place from the main chasing group in challenging rainy conditions.
A decisive split occurred with around 50km to go as 14riders headed away from the reduced main peloton with Oliver Naesen (AG2R) playing his cards right in the final to take the race victory.
Unlike the women's event yesterday in Plouay, the men were welcomed by heavy rainy which added to the difficulty of the lumpy race. In the early stages a group of seven riders formed the first breakaway of the day and rode out to a maximum advantage of just over three minutes.
The breakaway were able to remain ahead of the bunch until 60km to go when the peloton began to split up with narrow wet roads and a group bridged across to the leaders.
The winning selection
In the final 50km the front group had swelled to 14riders and they were able to open up their advantage over the reduced chasing peloton to over one minute. Mitchelton-SCOTT riders Carlos Verona and Impey were in the group as the route headed towards Plouay but the time gap continued to hover around one minute.
Eventually the leading group began to shrink in size as they approached the final 14.7km finishing loop on the short but steep climbs, with the rain continuing to add to the difficulty.
Three riders Oliver Naesen (AG2R), Michael Valgren (Astana) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) broke away and remained ahead of their breakaway companions around the final lap to sprint for the victory. Impey and Verona finished within the chase group a further one minute and 24seconds behind.
"It wasn't a great day out. It was pretty sketchy all day and with the wet roads it split the group and it was hard to chase. Of course we are disappointed, but this is how it is. I was hoping for a better day out."
"It was a really tricky day. This new style Plouay is certainly a different style of racing, lots of small tricky roads and with the bad weather it made for a pretty dangerous and hard day.
"The winning move formed with about 60km to go when the bunch split into a number of groups. We had Daryl and Carlos in the main group behind that but then the race was pretty much already decided."
Bretagne-Classic Ouest-France results:
1. Oliver Naesen (AG2R) 6:16
2. Michael Valgren (Astana) ST
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) +0:03
32. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:24
Photos courtesy of Getty Images