Hugo Hofstetter wins Tro-Bro Léon

Hugo Hofstetter (Arkea-Samsic)
Hugo Hofstetter (Arkea-Samsic) (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Hugo Hofstetter gave Arkéa-Samsic their second straight victory in a rainy edition of Tro-Bro Léon, playing off strong teamwork to beat Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels-KTM) in a two-man sprint. His teammate Connor Swift rolled in for third.

Hofstetter chased out of a much-reduced peloton and helped to form a leading group of five coming into the closing kilometres along with teammates Swift and Laurent Pichon, and Mozzato and Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal). The Paris-Roubaix runner-up in 2021 had to let go of the group after a puncture, while Pichon was also left behind due to a mechanical.

On the final sectors of muddy farm tracks, Swift lost touch, leaving just Hofstetter and Mozzato to battle for the victory, which Hofstetter claimed with relative ease.

The early breakaway with Marc Sarreau (AG2R Citroën), Martin Urianstad (Uno-X), Morné Van Niekerk (St. Michel-Auber 93) and Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project) gained more than seven minutes on the field in the paved first half of the race, but faced 29 sectors of farm tracts in various states of repair. Some muddy, some gravel, some cobbled, some uphill and some on descents - all 33.3 kilometers in total add difficulty to the race, but the rain made for an exceptionally tough day.

The breakaway were caught with 29km to go as Arkéa-Samsic amassed at the front, pulling so strongly into a muddy bend that they caught the race motorbike and Clement Russo nearly crashed into him. Swift put in a massive pull to go across to the remaining breakaway riders.

Swift and Pichon pushed ahead together and, when Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) attempted to scramble across, Hofstetter latched onto his wheel to make the bridge to his teammates and then ride onto his eventual victory.

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