Antoine Demoitie (Wollonie-Bruxelles) rode away with the victory at the Tour du Finistere earlier today. The young Belgian won from a small group sprint, beating Julien Simon (Cofidis) into 2nd place and Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne – Seche) into 3rd. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had its young and inform rider Kristian Sbaragli ride his way into a fine 4th place.
Sbaragli had shown great consistency over the last week and a half and today was no different. An early escape group of just 3 riders would ride clear of the peloton but a lack of cooperation would see the race come together with more than 60km still to race. Following the catch a number of attacks would ensue resulting in a high paced affair and a strung out peloton. Cracks would eventually form in the peloton and a number of splits were created.
With 35km to go, a strongman’s group of 10 riders surged clear including Demoitie, Simon, Fonseca, Sbaragli, Berhane (Europcar), Evrard (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Jauregui (Roubaix), Goncalves (La Pomme Marseille), Daniel (AG2R La Mondiale) and Bagot (Cofidis). The group would work well together over the challenging 4 lap finishing circuit, and were able to etch out a 1 minute lead. With 3km to go the gap was down to 30″ to the first chase group, this was enough to ensure they would decide the win among themselves.
Rider – Kristian Sbaragli
The race was quite hard with the final circuit having 2 climbs, with the last one just a kilometer from the finish which started out very steep and was more gradual over the top. We arrived at the finishing circuit with less than 70 guys in the peloton. With 3 laps to go we attacked on the climb and i got away with 9 other guys, we quickly got a 15-20 second gap.
Everybody in the break was very strong and the bunch weren’t able to catch us. During the last lap i may have spent too much energy and the guy that won took 200m after nobody followed him. My goal was definitely to get the victory today but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Now i will look towards of the Tour of Turkey were i hope i can get a result on one of the stages. My condition is very good at the moment and the team really believe in me, i just have to finish off the race now to reward their hard work.
Directeur Sportif – Manel Lacambra
Today the team rode very well. We were protecting and keeping Kristian out of the wind all day. When the first break went we were relaxed as it was only 3 riders and all the big teams missed the move. After 150km though, a dangerous break of 12 riders went clear and Jaco was in it. Then the teams not represented in that break worked very hard to close it and at the point the catch was made we were on the steeper 12% gradient of the climb. Youcef put in an excellent attack here and crossed the line for the first time as the races leading rider.
This big effort made sure that a few km later Kristian’s break with 9 other riders was able to get a gap on the short climb. The group behind was working very hard to close the gap and with 1 lap to go the gap was just 20 seconds. When Kristian saw that the group was catching he tried a solo attack but without success, his attack did ensure the gap increased to 40 seconds with 3km to go though. With 800m to race the eventual winner attacked and the other riders just looked at each other until they started the final sprint. It was not possible to catch him and Kristian was still able to finish 4th.
We are happy with how the team rode today and it is also the 2nd time this week that the team is racing for the win. If we continue to race like this, the win will definitely come soon.
Staff: Manel Lacambra (Directeur Sportif), Yvonne Houweling (Soigneur), Nico Beyens (Soigneur), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)