Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) won the Tour de Eurometropole, sprinting to the win from a late breakaway group. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing) finished in 2nd place and Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) was 3rd.
The tough Tour de Eurometropole was made tougher thanks to the elements, as the rain and wind battered the riders over the 200km course today. 6-riders formed the early break of the day but our African Team was looking to make its move during the final local laps.
A big crash in the peloton, just before reaching the finishing circuit, took out a number of riders, including our Jay Thomson. Fortunately our South African was not injured and will still race tomorrow’s GP Isbergues.
Trek-Segafredo took control of the peloton on the 15km local lap, that had to be completed 5 times, setting a high pace in order to whittle down the main field and close the gap to the early leaders.
On the penultimate lap, there was a dangerous attack on the 1km circuit climb that included the likes of Jasper Stuyven, Tiesj Benoot & Oliver Naesen. The attackers quickly caught the original break and it looked to be the winning move of the day.
Our African Team had missed the split though and so Connor Swift, Scott Thwaites, Nic Dougall and Ryan Gibbons went to lead the chase from the peloton for our protected rider of the day, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. Our African Team did a great job to not let the lead group go, with Swift being particularity impressive.
The British National champion led the peloton to the foot of the final climb, with 5km to go, before Janse van Rensburg jumped across the 10 second gap to what remained of the lead group. Benoot put in a late attack from the front, and was only caught meters before the line as Janse an Rensburg and co. sprinted for the race victory. Pedersen was the best on the day, and took an exiting win.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
The weather conditions made the race pretty hard and also a lot of other teams where interested to make for an aggressive race. The team did really well to control the late break in the last lap and set me up to go across on the climb. In the small group of 11 I misjudged the last corner and had to close a gap in the final 500m, which killed my sprint.
I am pretty disappointed I couldn’t get a better result after the great team work earlier. But at least I showed good form to be in the front split and it looks positive for the next few races.