Cosnefroy beats Alaphilippe to win Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France

Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2R Citroën Team) won the Bretagne Classic- Ouest-France, outfoxing Deceuninck-Quickstep and Julian Alaphilippe. 

Alaphilippe had attacked on the graveled climb of the Bosse Saoutarlarin, 60km from the finish, and escaped from the peloton with his teammate, Mikkel Honoré, Cosnefroy, and Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates).

Pogačar was dropped shortly afterwards, and though Alaphilippe attacked Cosnefroy repeatedly he was unable to distance his fellow Frenchman, who proved to be the strongest in the final sprint.

“I’m really happy, it’s my first World Tour win,” Cosnefroy said at the finish, “I’ve been waiting for it so of course, it’s brilliant. It was a really exciting race today. It was just me against the two Deceuninck guys at the end. I knew I felt good that I could go with Julian when he attacked. Of course, it’s a different sprint here. I knew I could do something, I was confident.”

I also played my card when I was at the front but I did collaborate with them, I didn’t just leave them to ride. I tried to attack and I would have hoped to go with Julian, but in the end, I was happy to win it how I did. With me, Honoré, and Julian there is no problem at all. We are just representing our own jerseys- that’s racing, there is no personal problem there. I was a bit unhappy at the time but that’s just racing.

How it unfolded

As September creeps ever closer, the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France offered the perfect preparation for those cyclists beginning to hone their form for the upcoming World Championships. Indeed, its route closely resembles the course in Flanders for both are circuit races of similar length with a deceptively large amount of climbing contained within their undulating profile. It was a star-studded start list, accordingly, in the first dress rehearsal of the World Championships.

The breakaway formed within the first hour of racing. Alessandro de Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën Team) Quinten Hermans (Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux), and Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal) escaped up the road but, given the strength of this group, the peloton restricted their lead to under six minutes.

The race’s early tranquillity was punctuated by a crash 169km from the finish. Jumbo Visma’s Chris Harper and Christoph Pfingsten and Movistar’s Gonzalo Serrano and Jorge Arcas emerged from the hedges at the side of the road battered but able to continue. Misfortune struck both these teams 50 kilometres later as Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) skidded on some gravel while navigating a corner, bringing a Movistar rider down too.

In the breakaway, meanwhile, the incessant climbing and fierce pace proved too hard for Grignard and Gougeard who were dropped with just under 100km to go.

On the gravel climb of the Bosse Saoutarlarin, 60km from the finish, the pace increased further as Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) attacked the peloton, and a small group comprised of Alaphilippe, his teammate Mikkel Honoré, Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), and Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2R Citroën Team) prised themselves away. Alaphilippe was resplendent in his rainbow jersey, Pogačar in his yellow sunglasses, marking them as the world and Tour de France champion, respectively.

Pogačar, however, appeared uncharacteristically uncomfortable, struggling to hold onto the wheels in front of him, and was dropped with 50km to go. Even Pogačar, it seems, is capable of human as well as superhuman feats.

Ahead in the breakaway, Hermans was also dropped; De Marchi initially continued solo but later waited for the Alaphilippe group to catch him.

De Marchi’s day was ended shortly afterwards as Cosnefroy offered the first glimpse of his scintillating form with an attack 22km from the finish. Honoré too was unable to follow this move and only clawed his way back because Alaphilippe refused to work, much to Cosnefroy’s frustration. 

The dangers to each riders’ hopes of victory began to come from without the group, as well as within, as various attacks emerged from the peloton. Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quickstep) marked each attack, to protect his teammates’ lead, and although their time gap fell dramatically, Ballerini did enough to ensure that the victory would be decided among the leading trio of Alaphilippe, Honoré and Cosnefroy.

Alaphilippe launched a trademark attack three kilometres from the finish line on the steepest section of the final climb, the Bosse Pont-Neuf, and still he could not distance Cosnefroy. Honoré fought his way back to lead out his teammate for the sprint but Cosnefroy proved too strong in the end.

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Full results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cosnefroy Benoit (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 5:59:56
2Alaphilippe Julian (Fra) Deceuninck - QuickStep
3Honoré Mikkel (Den) Deceuninck - QuickStep 0:00:03
4Hayter Ethan (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:13
5Swift Connor (GBr) Team Arkea - Samsic
6Bonnamour Franck (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7Stuyven Jasper (Bel) Trek - Segafredo
8Madouas Valentin (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
9Pacher Quentin (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:00:16
10Nizzolo Giacomo (Ita) Team Qhubeka NextHash 0:00:17
11Hofstetter Hugo (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
12Ballerini Davide (Ita) Deceuninck - QuickStep
13Aleotti Giovanni (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe
14Paret Peintre Aurélien (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
15Simon Julien (Fra) Totalenergies
16Godon Dorian (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
17Pichon Laurent (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
18Serrano Rodriguez Gonzalo (Spa) Movistar Team
19Hermans Ben (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
20Barguil Warren (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
21Chevalier Maxime (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
22Hundahl Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education - Nippo
23Williams Stephen (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
24Burgaudeau Mathieu (Fra) Totalenergies
25Kangert Tanel (Est) Team BikeExchange
26Hindley Jai (Aus) Team DSM
27Cattaneo Mattia (Ita) Deceuninck - QuickStep
28Ferasse Thibault (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
29Barbero Carlos (Spa) Team Qhubeka Nexthash 0:00:22
30Vendrame Andrea (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:53
31Boasson-hagen Edvald (Nor) Totalenergies
32Trarieux Julien (Fra) Delko
33Goldstein Omer (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
34Ulissi Diego (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
35Perichon Pierre Luc (Fra) Cofidis
36Konrad Patrick (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe
37Hardy Romain (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
38Wilsly Jonas (Den) Astana - Premier Tech
39González Rivera Abner (PuR) Movistar Team
40Martin Daniel (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
41Jensen Mattias (Den) Trek - Segafredo
42Donovan Mark (GBr) Team DSM
43Warbasse Lawrence (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
44Higuita Garcia Sergio Andres (Col) EF Education - Nippo
45Lopez-cozar Jaimez Juan Antonio (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:01:09
46Gesbert Elie (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic 0:01:47
47Eenkhoorn Pascal (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:02:03
48Gaudu David (Fra) Groupama - FDJ 0:02:25
49Rowe Luke (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
50Diaz Gallego Jose Manuel (Spa) Delko 0:02:58
51Geschke Simon (Ger) Cofidis 0:03:45
52De Marchi Alessandro (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:04:27
53Clarke Simon (Aus) Team Qhubeka NextHash 0:04:39
54Siskevicius Evaldas (Ltu) Delko
55Declercq Tim (Bel) Deceuninck - QuickStep 0:04:53
56Planckaert Baptiste (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
57Goossens Kobe (Bel) Lotto Soudal
58Fedeli Alessandro (Ita) Delko
59Vingegaard Jonas (Den) Jumbo-Visma
60Pogačar Tadej (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:30
61Serry Pieter (Bel) Deceuninck - QuickStep
62Peñalver Aniorte Manuel (Spa) Burgos-BH
63Fuentes Paniego Angel (Spa) Burgos-BH
64Grmay Tsgabu Gebremaryam (Eth) Team BikeExchange
65Bennett Sean (USA) Team Qhubeka Nexthash
66Kudus Merhawi (Eri) Astana - Premier Tech
67Seigle Romain (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
68Bellicaud Jeremy (Fra) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
69Delettre Alexandre (Fra) Delko
70Bookwalter Brent (USA) Team BikeExchange
71Schmid Mauro (Swi) Team Qhubeka NextHash
72Guglielmi Simon (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
73Dekker David (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
74Bernard Julien (Fra) Trek - Segafredo
75Eekhoff Nils (Ned) Team DSM
76Ledanois Kevin (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
77Leknessund Andreas (Nor) Team DSM
78Fernandez Cruz Delio (Spa) Delko 0:10:43
79Doull Owain (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
80Swift Ben (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
81Ayuso Pesquera Juan (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
82Combaud Romain (Fra) Team DSM
83Cullaigh Gabriel (GBr) Movistar Team
84Champion Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
85Amador Andrey (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers
86Colleoni Kevin (Ita) Team BikeExchange
87Samitier Samitier Sergio (Spa) Movistar Team 0:13:04
88Leemreize Gijs (Ned) Jumbo-visma
89Marczynski Tomasz (Pol) Lotto Soudal
90Conca Filippo (Ita) Lotto Soudal
91Canton Serrano Isaac (Spa) Burgos-BH
92Terpstra Niki (Ned) Totalenergies
93Eg Niklas (Den) Trek - Segafredo
94Aparicio Muñoz Mario (Spa) Burgos-BH
95Gall Felix (Aut) Team DSM
96Perry Benjamin (Can) Astana - Premier Tech
DNFSmith Dion (NZl) Team BikeExchange
DNFHepburn Michael (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFGarrison Ian (USA) Deceuninck - QuickStep
DNFGrignard Sébastien (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFMalecki Kamil (Pol) Lotto Soudal
DNFOldani Stefano (Ita) Lotto Soudal
DNFVervloesem Xandres (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFGallopin Tony (Fra) AG2R Citroên Team
DNFGougeard Alexis (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFHarper Chris (Aus) Jumbo-Visma
DNFPfingsten Christoph (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
DNFFoss Tobias S. (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
DNFBarta William (USA) EF Education - Nippo
DNFWhelan James (Aus) EF Education - Nippo
DNFEl Fares Julien (Fra) EF Education - Nippo
DNFNakane Hideto (Jpn) EF Education - Nippo
DNFCapecchi Eros (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
DNFDavies Scott (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
DNFInkelaar Kevin (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
DNFValls Ferri Rafael (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
DNFBaska Erik (Svk) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFWandahl Frederik (Den) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFFabbro Matteo (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFSchelling Ide (Ned) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFWalls Matthew (GBr) Bora - Hansgrohe
DNFPower Rob (Aus) Team Qhubeka NextHash
DNFVacek Karel (Cze) Team Qhubeka NextHash
DNFConti Valerio (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMolano Benavides Juan Sebastian (Col) UAE Team Emirates
DNFRiabushenko Aleksandr (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMirza Al-hammadi Yousif (UAE) UAE Team Emirates
DNFArcas Jorge (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFRubio Reyes Einer Augusto (Col) Movistar Team
DNFBattistella Samuele (Ita) Astana - Premier Tech
DNFBoaro Manuele (Ita) Astana - Premier Tech
DNFDe Bod Stefan (RSA) Astana - Premier Tech
DNFFelline Fabio (Ita) Astana - Premier Tech
DNFRoche Nicolas (Irl) Team DSM
DNFGaillard Marlon (Fra) Totalenergies
DNFGrellier Fabien (Fra) Totalenergies
DNFTurgis Anthony (Fra) Totalenergies
DNFBevin Patrick (NZl) Israel Start-Up Nation
DNFRenard Alexis (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
DNFBarthe Cyril (Fra) B&b Hotels p/b KTM
DNFJauregui Quentin (Fra) B&b Hotels p/b KTM
DNFHivert Jonathan (Fra) B&b Hotels p/b KTM
DNFHenao Gomez Sebastian (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFRivera Vargas Brandon Smith (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFArmirail Bruno (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
DNFLadagnous Matthieu (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
DNFDavy Clément (Fra) Groupama - FDJ
DNFBouet Maxime (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic
DNFBerhane Natnael (Eri) Cofidis
DNFConsonni Simone (Ita) Cofidis
DNFFernandez Ruben (Spa) Cofidis
DNFLafay Victor (Fra) Cofidis
DNFMuller Gabriel (Fra) Burgos-BH
DNFMolenaar Alexander (Ned)
DNFEgholm Jakob (Den) Trek - Segafredo
DNFGhebreigzabhier Amanuel (Eri) Trek - Segafredo
DNFTiberi Antonio (Ita) Trek - Segafredo
DNFDe Winter Ludwig (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
DNFDevriendt Tom (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
DNFGirmay Biniam (Eri) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
DNFHermans Quinten (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
DNFVanspeybrouck Pieter (Bel) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
DNFPrades Reverter Eduard (Spa) Delko

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