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Pozzato takes sprint victory at GP Ouest France-Plouay

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Nizzolo, Dumoulin complete podium

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) celebrates victory in the 2013 edition of the GP de Plouay

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) celebrates victory in the 2013 edition of the GP de Plouay

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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) claimed his biggest win in years with victory in Sunday’s GP Ouest France-Plouay. The Italian sprinted to the line ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) to take his second win in two weeks following his victory in the Coppa Agostoni last month.

Facing a strong headwind on the finishing stretch, Pozzato exercised patience then made use of his fast finish to come through in the final few metres for the win at the head of a 70-strong field. BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet had launched a vicious attack from three kilometres out but the Belgian was reeled in within sight of the finish line.

"I'm really happy to be able to win such an important race for the team, the Galbusera family and our secondary sponsor Merida," said Pozzato. "We knew that it would be difficult to win the sprint from the front. I preferred to wait in my opponents' wake until the final moment on the straight, downhill finish then launch my own sprint."

For Nizzolo, second was a bitter pill to swallow as he thought he'd had the race won in the final metres.

"I started my sprint a bit early because last year I was too late," said Nizzolo. "It’s a tricky finish here and very easy to get boxed in. But at five or ten metres to go, Pozzato passed me.

"Second is nice but first is better. When someone passes you so close to the finish, it sucks. In the last lap I tried to follow the attacks and found myself between the attackers and the bunch. I spent too much energy there, I believe."

The 77th edition of the GP Ouest France-Plouay, part of the UCI WorldTour calendar, consisted of nine laps of a 27km circuit starting and finishing in Plouay, situated in France's Brittany region.

A four-man break formed soon after the race started and was comprised of members from each of France's four Pro Continental squads: Natnael Berhane (Europcar), Vegard Stake Laengen (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), Christophe Laborie (Sojasun) and Julien Fouchard (Cofidis). The peloton gave the quartet plenty of leeway as the escapees built up a lead in excess of 16 minutes, but by the time the break began it's penultimate lap their lead was cut to less than three minutes.

Prior to beginning the final 27km circuit the early break was absorbed and the counter-attacks began. Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) were momentarily able to escape the peloton's clutches, but entering the final 10 kilometres the deck was re-shuffled as three riders, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Kristijan Koren (Cannondale) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), were on the attack and held a slender 13-second advantage.

Their escape was neutralised at the lap's final climb, the Cote de Ty-Marrec, inside of five kilometres remaining and the punchy ascent saw several riders jump away from the peloton in a bid for victory. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was the first over the climb and was closely marked by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano). This leading group would quickly grow to nine, but lacking cohesion and with the peloton just seconds behind more attacks were launched.

Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) jumped away alone with 3.5 kilometres remaining, but the Italian's move was short-lived and was countered by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). The Belgian has been on good form of late having won a stage at the Tour of Utah as well as notching seven top-five finishes in stages in Utah and then Colorado's USA Pro Challenge, but the BMC rider now faced a difficult 3km time trial to the finish line.

The 28-year-old Belgian's solo attack continued under the flamme rouge, however, but he would be swept up by the peloton at 300 metres to go. "I felt really strong and I had a lot of power in my legs," said Van Avermaet. "But three kilometres alone with a headwind the whole way was hard."

Orica-GreenEdge led out the sprint but it would be Pozzato who reigned supreme in the Plouay finale.

Full Results
1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 5:59:54  
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard    
3 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
4 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
6 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
7 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
8 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team    
9 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team    
10 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano    
11 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun    
12 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team    
13 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
14 Yoann Offredo (Fra)    
15 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge    
16 Arthur Vichot (Fra)    
17 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling    
18 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team    
19 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
20 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
21 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
22 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
23 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
24 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
25 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
26 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
27 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling    
28 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
29 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
30 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar    
31 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
32 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
33 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
34 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
35 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
36 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
37 Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Por) RadioShack Leopard    
38 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
39 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha    
40 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun    
41 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale    
42 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team    
43 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
44 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha    
45 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
46 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
47 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
48 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
49 Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
50 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
51 Peio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
52 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha    
53 Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale    
54 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
55 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha    
56 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)    
57 Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
58 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling    
59 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
60 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
61 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar    
62 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard    
63 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
64 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
65 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge    
66 Tom Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
67 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
68 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
69 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team    
70 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
71 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:12  
72 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21  
73 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:23  
74 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:44  
75 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:49  
76 Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha 0:01:10  
77 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
78 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
79 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
80 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
81 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
82 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
83 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
84 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
85 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
86 Fabien Schmidt (Fra) Sojasun    
87 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano    
88 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
89 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
90 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp    
91 Francois Parisien (Can) Team Argos-Shimano    
92 Laurent Pichon (Fra) 0:01:59  
93 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:02:42  
94 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp 0:02:49  
95 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team    
96 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
97 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
98 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
99 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
100 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp    
101 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling    
102 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
103 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
104 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
105 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
106 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
107 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:03:56  
108 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
109 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
110 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun    
111 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
112 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
113 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
114 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto Belisol    
115 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
116 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:28  
117 Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 0:06:52  
118 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
119 Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
120 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
121 Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling    
122 Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
123 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
124 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar    
125 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)    
126 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp    
127 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha    
128 Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar    
129 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling    
130 Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
131 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
132 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha 0:13:00  
133 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:17:20  
HD Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
HD Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team    
DNF Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team    
DNF Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha    
DNF Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard    
DNF Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard    
DNF Bob Jungels (Lux) RadioShack Leopard    
DNF Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard    
DNF Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
DNF Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step    
DNF Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
DNF Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Brian Bulgac (Ned) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Mickael Delage (Fra)    
DNF Arnaud Demare (Fra)    
DNF Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)    
DNF Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Yann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Ji Cheng (Chn) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar    
DNF Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling    
DNF Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling    
DNF Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling    
DNF Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNS Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp