Pozzato takes sprint victory at GP Ouest France-Plouay

Nizzolo, Dumoulin complete podium

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
1Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida5:59:54 
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard  
3Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
4Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
5Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
6Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
7Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
8Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team  
9Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
10John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
11Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun  
12Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
13Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
14Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ.fr  
15Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge  
16Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr  
17Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling  
18Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
19Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
20Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
21Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
22Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
23Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
24Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
25Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
26Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
27Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling  
28Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
29Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
30Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
31Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
32Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
33Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
34Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
35Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
36Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
37Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Por) RadioShack Leopard  
38Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
39Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha  
40Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun  
41Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
42Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team  
43Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
44Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha  
45Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
46Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
47Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
48Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
49Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
50Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
51Peio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
52Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha  
53Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
54Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
55Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha  
56Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr  
57Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
58Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
59Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
60Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar  
61Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
62Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard  
63Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
64Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
65Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge  
66Tom Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
67Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
68Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
69Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team  
70Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
71Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:12 
72Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:21 
73Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:23 
74Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:44 
75Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:49 
76Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha0:01:10 
77Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
78Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
79Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
80Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
81Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
82Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
83Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
84Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
85Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
86Fabien Schmidt (Fra) Sojasun  
87Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano  
88Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
89Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
90Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp  
91Francois Parisien (Can) Team Argos-Shimano  
92Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:59 
93Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:42 
94Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp0:02:49 
95Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team  
96Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
97Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
98Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
99Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
100Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp  
101David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling  
102Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
103Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
104Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
105Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
106Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
107Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:03:56 
108Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
109Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
110Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun  
111Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
112Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team  
113Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
114Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto Belisol  
115Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
116Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:28 
117Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard0:06:52 
118Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
119Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
120Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
121Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling  
122Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
123Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
124Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
125Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr  
126Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp  
127Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha  
128Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar  
129Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling  
130Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
131Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
132Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha0:13:00 
133Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:17:20 
HDPaul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
HDKévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFPeter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFGeraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFJonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFAndrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
DNFAlex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team  
DNFRobert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFAlexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha  
DNFAndy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFBob Jungels (Lux) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFJérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFDmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
DNFSébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFAndrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFWilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFChristopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFBrian Bulgac (Ned) Lotto Belisol  
DNFSander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFJuan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFRicardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJ.fr  
DNFArnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr  
DNFBenoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr  
DNFDanny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFYann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFJi Cheng (Chn) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFYukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
DNFPierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFJean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFRémi Pauriol (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFEgoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFEdwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFKristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling  
DNFReto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFDominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling  
DNFGeoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFArmindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNSPeter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp  

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