Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie) continued his fine 2018 campaign with victory at the Tour du Finistère on Saturday, where he beat Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty Groupe-Gobert) to the line in Quimper.
The 33-year-old Frenchman, who won both stages and the overall at the Tour du Haut Var in February before taking a stage at Paris-Nice the following month, edged out his compatriots after a group of a dozen riders had broken clear on the last of five laps of a 9.7km finishing circuit.
Hivert possesses a strong sprint and was able to overcome the other members of a strong group, which, as well as Bardet and Martin, included Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), and his own teammate Lilian Calmejane.
Hivert now has five wins for the season and Direct Energie 12, the French Pro Continental team showing no signs of missing Bryan Coquard, who left acrimoniously over the winter.
Hivert's victory came in a stronger-than-usual field at the Tour du Finistère, which could be explained by the fact that the route contained the exact final 35 or so kilometres that will be found on stage 5 of this year's Tour de France in July.
As such, as well as Bardet, Barguil, and Van Garderen, Richie Porte was also in attendance, all of them grabbing the opportunity for an in-race recon. Bardet will no doubt be happy with his performance in light of a much sooner target – La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège next week.
The 190.5km Finistère course was hilly and well-suited for any Ardennes hopefuls who'd chosen to eschew Sunday's Amstel Gold Race. The parcours was relatively benign for the first 60 kilometres but then the tough climbs started, and the race intensified on the local laps, which contained the Côte Voie Romaine early on, followed by the Côte de Meil Stang Vihan in the final 1.5km.
A breakaway of four riders – Nicolas Baldo (St Michel-Auber93), Corentin Ermenault (Vital Concept), Michiel Dieleman (Cibel-Cebon) and Jelle Mannaerts (Tarteletto-Isorex) – broke free early on and built a lead of six minutes over the peloton by the halfway mark. Once the peloton started to chase in earnest, however, the gap came tumbling down, and the quartet crossed the finish line for the first time, with just under 50km remaining, with a lead of barely a minute.
Mannaerts and Baldo were soon dropped, while Direct Energie's Rein Taaramae attacked from the peloton and joined Ermenault and Dieleman. They didn't last long, however, and after Ermenault was dropped with just over 30km to go, the other two were caught and the peloton was all back together with 25 kilometres to go.
The regrouping triggered a spate of attacks, with Bardet, Barguil, and Porte in the thick of the action. As they heard the bell the peloton was strung out but still pretty much as one, though the Côte Voie Romaine saw a strong group of 15 rise to the top.
Hivert weathered the final incline and used his finishing kick to see off the more decorated Bardet.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie||4:43:04|
|2||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|3||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert|
|4||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|5||Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Cibel-Cebon|
|6||Jeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie|
|7||Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie|
|8||Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|9||Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal|
|10||Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie||0:00:07|
|11||Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic|
|12||Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93|
|13||Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole|
|14||Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|15||Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie||0:00:31|
|16||Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM||0:00:55|
|17||Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|18||Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|19||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|20||Anthony Maldonado (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93|
|21||Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|22||Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic|
|23||Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert|
|24||Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|25||Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|26||Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|27||Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise|
|28||Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|29||Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|30||Camille Thominet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93|
|31||Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic|
|32||Lennert Teugels (Bel) Cibel-Cebon|
|33||uan Antonio Lopez-Cozar Jaimez (Spa) Team Euskadi|
|34||Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM|
|35||Gianni Marchand (Bel) Cibel-Cebon|
|36||Jerome Mainard (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole|
|37||Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|38||Pierre Gouault (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole|
|39||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:01:00|
|40||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM|
|41||Adrien Garel (Fra) Vital Concept Club|
|42||Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic|
|43||Ricardo Garcia (Spa) Team Euskadi||0:01:03|
|44||Tom Dernies (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole||0:01:08|
|45||Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|46||Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias||0:01:15|
|47||Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic||0:01:19|
|48||Bjørn Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal||0:01:27|
|49||Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Joker Icopal||0:01:38|
|50||Flavien Maurelet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93||0:01:49|
|51||Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM||0:01:56|
|52||Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic||0:02:17|
|53||Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|54||Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Tarteletto-Isorex||0:02:53|
|55||Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert||0:03:27|
|56||Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ||0:06:03|
|57||Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert|
|58||Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Team Euskadi|
|59||Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|60||Sergio Rodriguez Reche (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|61||Michiel Dieleman (Bel) Cibel-Cebon||0:06:28|
|62||Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:08:59|
|63||Steven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept Club||0:13:53|
|64||Marc Buades Ferriol (Spa) Team Euskadi|
|DNF||Roy Jans (Bel) Cibel-Cebon|
|DNF||Fridtjof Røinås (Nor) Joker Icopal|
|DNF||Polychronis Tzortzakis (Gre) Tarteletto-Isorex|
|DNF||Henrik Evensen (Nor) Joker Icopal|
|DNF||Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|DNF||Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise|
|DNF||Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Club|
|DNS||Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|