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Published on 05-06-2024

The Team on the offensive in Brittany

This weekend, the Team was involved in two great races in Brittany: the Grand Prix du Morbihan on Saturday and the Tro Bro Leon on Sunday. Under the guidance of a particularly active and energetic Thomas Gachignard, the team proved its worth during these races, thanks to a conquering state of mind and a strong team spirit.

Last Saturday, the Team kicked off its weekend in Brittany with the Grand Prix du Morbihan, a race in which Julien Simon is the record holder with 3 victories. Under changing weather conditions, the start of the race saw a breakaway take a slight lead until the final circuit, which was completed 8 times. This loop included the famous Côte de Cadoudal, often the real judge of the race. It was precisely with 4 laps to go that the Team went on the offensive. Baptiste Vadic did a great job on the climb, enabling Thomas Gachignard to break away from the pack and move into the lead with Urko Berrade (Equipo Kern Pharma).

The leading duo maintained their lead for some time, including a 25-second advantage at the start of the final lap (7.7 km from the finish). After the flamme rouge, Thomas decided to go solo but was eventually caught 400 metres from the finish by the group of favourites, who were battling it out for victory in a sprint. A cruel scenario for our rider, who never gave up and showed incredible self-sacrifice before finally finished 26th, 10 seconds behind. It was Valentin Ferron who took the best position for the Team at the finish line (11th), while Mattéo Vercher finished in the same time (21st). It was a frustrating end of the race for the Team, which nonetheless put in some fine performances.

The following day, it’s the Hell of the West that awaits our riders. With a course made up of 29 sectors (the ribinoù), the Tro Bro Leon has a real Paris-Roubaix vibe and often promises plenty of twists and turns, as well as a lot of work for the assistants and mechanical staff. For the first two-thirds of the race, the breakaway had a lead of up to 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The peloton quickly closed the gap as it approached the finish line, splitting into several groups. Dries Van Gestel and Anthony Turgis were in the right group, while Thomas Gachignard also managed to join them at a later stage.

On several occasions, Anthony tried to attack at the front of the group of favourites, and even managed to open a gap with 36km to go, before being caught again. Finally, most of the peloton reformed and it was a group of around 40 men who crossed the finish line for the first time, with another 12 km to go. In the last few kilometres, there was a lot of movement and eventually nine riders, including Thomas Gachignard, battled it out for victory. Our rider finished 8th in the sprint, after a full day’s work. Dries Van Gestel crossed the line in 13th position, ahead of Anthony Turgis and Sandy Dujardin, who finished in the same time. Once again, our riders put in a lot of hard work and pushed themselves to the limit, on a course that was particularly demanding for their bodies.

The Team thus concludes this weekend in Brittany, during which our riders often went on the offensive. Once again, the team showed its strengths, and came very close to securing a first-class result. Nevertheless, the team leaves Brittany with some encouraging performances for the rest of the season.