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Naesen wins GP Ouest France Plouay

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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic (Image credit: Miwa iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Michael Valgren (Astana) was second

Michael Valgren (Astana) was second (Image credit: Miwa iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic (Image credit: Miwa iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto)
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John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Miwa iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) wins the Bretagne Classic (Image credit: Miwa iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto)
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Cyril Gautier (AG2R La Mondiale)

Cyril Gautier (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin)

Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin) (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott)

Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors)

Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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The GP Ouest France-Plouay

The GP Ouest France-Plouay (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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The GP Ouest France-Plouay

The GP Ouest France-Plouay (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) abandoned with knee pain

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) abandoned with knee pain (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Paul Ourselin (Team Direct Energie), Mauro Finetto (Team Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Maxim Belkov (Team Katusha-Alpecin), and Arnaud Gerard (Team Fortuneo-Samsic),

Paul Ourselin (Team Direct Energie), Mauro Finetto (Team Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Maxim Belkov (Team Katusha-Alpecin), and Arnaud Gerard (Team Fortuneo-Samsic), (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Paul Ourselin (Team Direct Energie), Mauro Finetto (Team Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Maxim Belkov (Team Katusha-Alpecin), and Arnaud Gerard (Team Fortuneo-Samsic) in the breakaway

Paul Ourselin (Team Direct Energie), Mauro Finetto (Team Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Maxim Belkov (Team Katusha-Alpecin), and Arnaud Gerard (Team Fortuneo-Samsic) in the breakaway (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) won a rain-soaked edition of the Bretagne Classic/GP Ouest France Plouay, going long in the sprint to hold off Astana's Michael Valgren from a three-rider breakaway. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) was third.

Michael Matthews (Sunweb) took out the sprint behind for fourth place.

Naesen, who won a kermesse in Erpe-Mere and the GP Lucien Van Impe before heading to France for the GP de Plouay, said he knew he wanted to win again.

"It is unbelievable that it was successful," Naesen said.

The 256.9km race started off under overcast skies and quickly a seven-man breakaway got away, containing Koen Bouwman (LottoNl-Jumbo), Paul Ourselin (Direct Energie), Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin), Warren Barguil and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina) and Mauro Finetto (Delko Marseille Provence KTM).

They built up a four-minute lead, but with 100km to go the rain began to fall and their gap quickly melted. With 70km to go, Quick-Step Floors pushed the pace on a gravel sector as the gap fell to one minute, but their efforts were countered by Wellens, who sparked a 15-rider counter-attack that became the new leading group.

As the cold rain began to fall harder, the group was whittled down to six with 15km to go, when Wellens, Valgren and Naesen escaped, leaving a chase group with Matthews, Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors), Oliver Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ) and Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo).

The trio worked together to build up a minute's gap before the finish, where Naesen opened up the sprint early and rode Wellens out the back, while Valgren was unable to come around.

"If I sit on the front and know that I have good legs, I always give everything to make sure I do not miss a chance," Naesen said. "If I win a race, I don't want anyone to say afterwards that I was not the best." 

While Wellens had already conceded before the sprint, Valgren found himself out-matched by the Belgian. "I felt strong, but in the final hundred meters I discovered someone was even stronger," Valgren said. "Oliver Naesen was very good today, in the final sprint I tried to go in his wheel but he was just too fast. It was one of my better sprints this season, so I cannot complain.

"I’m happy with this result, as I had a lot of bad luck the last weeks, but today everything went well. My legs were good and I had some luck, so I have a good feeling about my second place today."

Wellens said he may have been over-eager with the attack that sparked the winning move, but was satisfied with the podium placing. "Third place was the highest possible result for me today," he said. "I helped to start up the finale and I have to admit that soon after that, I didn't have much left in the tank."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale6:16:34
2Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team
3Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:03
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:01:13
5Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
6Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
7Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:01:15
8Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:01:17
9Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:18
10Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:01:24
11Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
12Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
13John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
14Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team
15Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
16Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
17Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
18Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
19Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
20Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
21José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
22Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
23Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
24Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
25Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
26Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
27Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
28Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
29Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team Sky
30Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
31Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept Club
32Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
33Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
34Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
35Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
36Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
37Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
38Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
39Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
40Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept Club
41Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
42Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin
43Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
44Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
45Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
46Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
47Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
48Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
49Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team
50David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
51Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
52Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
53Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
54Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
55Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
56Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
57Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:32
58Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
59Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:11
60Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
61Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
62Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:55
63Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:42
64Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal0:03:54
65Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:03:56
66Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:04:27
67Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept Club0:06:30
68Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:06:31
69Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
70Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:06:32
71Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
72Iuri Filosi (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:06:33
73Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept Club
74Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:35
75Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:51
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
DNFFilippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFBen Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMatti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFLogan Owen (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFTom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFJulius Van Den Berg (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFMagnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
DNFKoen Bouwman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFJos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNFJean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
DNFMiles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team
DNFNathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
DNFManuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFErik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFCesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFFelix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data
DNFNicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data
DNFBen O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
DNFScott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFMoreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
DNFFrederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFCarlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFEduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team
DNFHector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFVictor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFMarc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
DNFFernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
DNFDavide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
DNFJack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFRob Power (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFRoman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFPaul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFMaxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFMatteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFWillie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFKevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFDavid Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky
DNSOwain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
DNFKenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky
DNFKristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky
DNSChristopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky
DNFLukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFSamuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFElie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFKevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFLaurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFClement Russo (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFNicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFSøren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFLennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Team Sunweb
DNFJulien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
DNFTsgabu Grmay (Eth) Trek-Segafredo
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
DNFGiuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
DNFLuca Raggio (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
DNFAlex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
DNFSimon Antonini (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFJérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFJulien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFYannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJérémy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFEvaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM

 

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