Florian Sénéchal (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) clinched the French road race title for the first time in his career, winning from a five-man sprint in Cholet on Sunday.
Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) was beaten into second place while Axel Zingle (Cofidis) claimed the final spot on the podium.
Sénéchal slipped clear with Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) in what was an open final 10km to a race that had largely remained bunched together.
The 240km route was made up of 12 laps of a 20km circuit in Cholet, which was technical but not overly hilly. Arnaud Démare's Groupama-FDJ teammates policed many of the day's moves but ceded control on a frantic final lap.
With 8km to go, after Cofidis had laid some foundations, Sénéchal followed Thomas's attack and the pair were away. Inside the final 2km, they were joined by a chasing trio of Turgis, Zingle, and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic).
Sénéchal was the fastest finisher on paper and made no mistake, getting the better of Turgis and Zingle as Barguil trailed home in fourth. Thomas drifted across the line in fifth before Démare led the bunch home 26 seconds down.
Results powered by FirstCycling (opens in new tab)
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.
Latest on Cyclingnews
De Lie, Campenaerts lead Lotto Soudal WorldTour points hunt at Circuit Franco-BelgeCaleb Ewan fast-tracks his return at Belgian one-day
Transfer news: Impey prolongs with Israel-Premier TechIntermarché add Herregodts, Marit from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
Relegation watch: BikeExchange-Jayco climb further away from danger zoneLotto Soudal slowly closing in on Movistar in 18th and away from Israel-Premier Tech in 20th
Marianne Vos wins Tour of Scandinavia stage 1 sprintJumbo-Visma rider first leader of new Women's WorldTour stage race