Hectic finale in Plouay sees Mezgec finish in the top twentySun 27 Aug 2017
Slovenian national road race champion Luka Mezgec made it over the climbs and survived the war of attrition to contest the sprint for ORICA-SCOTT at the Bretagne-Classic Ouest France today taking 15th place in a crowded finale.
A long 240kilometre race that traditionally sees an early move gain time until the final third played out no differently today with the initial breakaway about to be reeled in with 60kilometres to go
That’s when the attacks started to spring and the action came to the fore, cat and mouse, reel and catch characterised the closing 40kilometres with attack after attack brought back until the final ascent when the bunch started to split heavily.
ORICA-SCOTT were positioned well and maintained their speed in the chase as finally the front of the race became one with only three kilometres to go.
A chaotic sprint unfolded with Mezgec boxed in on the left hand side and no clear run to the line as Elia Viviani (Team-Sky) took the win.
“We came into the race with a solid plan and tried our best to execute it,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “We missed one of the later moves as the break was about to be caught and that meant that we had to use energy and riders in the chase that initially we wanted to save for the final to be there for Luka and Daryl Impey.”
“Luka was a tiny bit too far back on the last time over the climb and that meant that he had to chase hard to get back up with Daryl as they went into the final and when you’ve used that energy reserve in a long race like this it can affect your position slightly and it was crowded there at the end.
“The guys gave everything and worked really hard in what we knew was going to be an aggressive race where you needed to be on the front foot to get a result, it was a long day and we look ahead to Montreal and Quebec now and more one-day events.”
How it happened:
The 81st edition of the French one-day classic got underway under clear blue skies with a tough 241kilometres of arduous circuits ahead.
A famous war of attrition over the repeated testing climbs an early move formed the breakaway with seven riders quickly developing a lead of eight minutes after 40kilometres of racing.
The peloton started to up the pace and close the gap with 90kilometres remaining, bringing the leaders quickly back to three minutes.
As the catch was about to be made with less than 60kilometres to go a group of riders jumped off the front of the bunch and bridged to what was left of the break, injecting fresh energy the group pushed on.
The bunch reduced heavily with the intensity of the chase and the font of the race started to come back together and split repeatedly into the closing kilometres.
ORICA-SCOTT were part of the chasing peloton with 10kilometres to go and eight riders clear with around 20seconds before a super chaotic finale unfolded.
Attacks flew from the bunch over the final climb up the Ty Marrec before the speeding peloton brought it all back together in the final three kilometres for a hectic bunch sprint finish.
Viviani won the sprint with Mezgec boxed in to the left and finishing outside the top ten.
Bretagne-Classic Ouest France results:
1. Elia Viviani (Team-Sky) 05:51:39
2. Alexander kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) ST
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) ST
15. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com