Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing), 26, claimed the first victory of his WorldTour career, winning the opening stage of the Tour de Limousin from a successful breakaway. He now leads the race by four seconds over AG2R La Mondiale's Hubert Dupont, with Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) in third.
Rosskopf joined BMC after impressing at the Tour of Utah in 2014, where he was a close second on the queen stage to Cadel Evans and won the mountains classification. Since then he has been learning the WorldTour ropes and admitted he was a bit out of practice at trying to win races.
"I felt awesome, in fact I couldn't quite believe it right away but I'm super happy," Rosskopf said. "There haven't been many races in the last year or two where I have been involved in a sprint or in a breakaway that made it to the line so I felt a little rusty. It definitely helped that we saw the line before the actual finish so I knew what to expect as I was really able to give it my all in the sprint."
Rosskopf helped spark the day's breakaway on the 165.4km stage from Limoges to Oradour-sur-Glane, then survived the cull of almost half of the 13-rider move.
He will go into the second of four stages in the leader's jersey.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the race and I'm hoping it it is good stage for us tomorrow. Hopefully the guys aren't too mad at me for making them ride at the front and defend the jersey tomorrow but we are definitely a strong team and motivation is high. It will be hard to defend the jersey as I think the time bonuses will be important for winning the race overall but we will give it our all and will see what happens.
"I think this stage win feels really rewarding for us as a team, especially as a lot of us came here from Utah where everyone was riding really well but we weren't able to get the stage win so it's a little like redemption."
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