Brittany Classic: Naesen wins the second victory in three years, Wellens is in third place


Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) won the Brittany Classic West-France (WorldTour) for the second time (after 2016), playing 256.9 km in Plouay on Sunday.

The Belgian champion 2017 was the leader of the Dane Michael Valgren Andersen (Astana) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).

A group consisting of Koen Bouwman, Maxim Belkov, Arnaud Gerard, Maxime Bouet, Paul Ourselin, Alex Turrin and Mauro Finetto quickly took the lead. The seven riders counted in the peloton at 3:45.

75 miles before the finish, Tim Declercq brought back the peloton to the awkward points. Uphill, on a dirt road, Tim Wellens took over. Only Zdenek Stybar could respond to the high pace of Wellens. Wellens and Stybar have gradually taken over. The first obstacles were restarted 62 kilometers after the finish, allowing a group of fourteen runners to form the new leading group. It was composed of Tim Wellens, Oliver Naesen, Zdenek Stybar, Olivier Le Gac, Koen Bouwman, Thomas Boudat, Paul Ourselin, Mauro Finetto, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Ruben Guerreiro, Michael Valgren Andersen, Maxime Bouet, Michael Matthews and Nikias Arndt.

Koen Bouwman got a flat tire and was caught by the peloton. Rain and climbs avoided when the leading group. Paul Ourselin also had to resign. In the large group, the riders from Bahrain-Merida and Vital Concept set the pace. Mauro Finetto lost the group 26 kilometers from the finish.

Oliver Naesen started with a small lead at the foot of the first of two climbs on the Ty Marrec Coast. He was then supported by Tim Wellens and Michael Valgren Andersen. This trio started with 20 seconds in advance the only local tour of 14 kilometers. Behind them followed Michael Matthews, Zdenek Stybar, Olivier Le Gac and Ruben Guerreiro. The group group had to give a minute and a half for the three awkward attempts. The top-three coupling remained excellent until the sprint Oliver Naesen was the fastest. The former Belgian champion follows the Italian Elia Viviani in Brittany, Classic-Ouest France. Naesen also won the GP Lucien Van Impe, a cycling fair, in Erpe-Mere last Thursday.

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