Sprinters rule the roost on day one in BretagneWed 25 Apr 2018
The 52nd Tour de Bretagne got underway today with a straightforward stage one characterised by a stage-long breakaway, a late catch and the expected bunch sprint with Mitchelton-BikeExchange out of the running and finishing in the peloton.
A grey and overcast morning in Chateaubriant welcomed the riders to the start and some cagey opening kilometres followed by tentative attacks that saw a trio of leaders escape up the road and gain close to two minutes on the peloton.
The three leaders continued to lead into the closing circuits around Lousifert with 30kilometres to go, but they were fading and only one rider remained when the catch was made some 20kilometres later.
With most teams looking ahead to a sprint finish and concentrating on position, no-one reacted to a late solo attack by Corentin Ermenault (Vital-Concept) and for a few minutes it looked like the Frenchman may cause an upset, but in the end the sprinters had their say.
Eermenault was passed in the final kilometre with Herman Dahl (Joker-Icopal) taking the win from the bunch kick and Robert Stannard finishing in the peloton alongside Sam Jenner, Callum Scotson and Brayan Chaves.
Sport director Dave Sanders:
“Harry Sweeny has been suffering from sickness for the last few days and it was a shame to lose him on the opening stage, he was brave to even try and start today, but he needs to rest up now.”
“It was a pretty straight forward day behind the breakaway that resulted in a messy sprint, but the rest of the guys all finished within the bunch and without any problems.
“Today wasn’t our kind of final and we’re looking ahead to the punchier stages, tomorrow is longer at 180kilometres with a second, then first category climb in the middle and some fast rolling circuits around the finish town of Plougmelen. It could be an interesting day with the climbs and it definitely suits us more.”
Tour de Bretagne stage one results:
1. Herman Dahl (Joker-Icopal) 03:40:09
2. Steel Von Hoff (Bennelong-SwissWellness) ST
3. Matteo Malucelli (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec) ST
41. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
Photos courtesy of the Tour de Bretagne.