Guillaume Martin wins queen stage in Circuit Sarthe
05 April 2018 02:56
Guillaume Martin claimed the first victory of the year for his Wanty-Groupe Gobert team as he won the queen stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, almost on home soil near his native Normandie region. He also moved into the overall lead with one stage to go. "We made the race hard when we reached the final circuit, with Fabien Doubey and Marco Minnaard, then Xandro Meurisse and Thomas Degand," Martin described. "We've been seen on the offensive. As for myself, I started attacking with two laps to go. We created a small breakaway group but the cooperation wasn't good so the peloton came back. "Meurisse and Degand made the race hard again at the bottom of the last climb. We were the strongest at that point of the race so we managed to ride away in the steepest part of the climb. I pushed as hard as I could till the finish. I would have liked to arrive hand in hand with Meurisse but a gap was made between us with 500 metres to go. However, I'm delighted that he came second and we deliver this beautiful 1-2."ADVERTISEMENT Before Martin delivered his first solo victory of the year, four riders rode away after 11km of racing: his teammate Thomas Deruette (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jérémy Leveau (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM), Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias) and Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) who moved into a different role at the service of designated leader Quentin Pacher after being defeated in the first two bunch sprints of the Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire. They reached the final circuit including the ascent of the Mont des Avaloirs, the highest summit of western France (alt.: 417m) in the region of Pré-en-Pail – a famous check point on the route of the Paris-Brest-Paris amateur race – with an advantage of 5:30 that quickly decreased as Martin's team-mates put the hammer down. Deruette was the last breakaway rider to surrender at km 174. Eleven riders formed the front group in the last lap: defending champion Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), François Bidard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Julien Simon (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo-Samsic), Mauro Finetto (Delko Marseille), Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Sergio Higuita and William Paredes (Manzana-Postobon) and Martin. But it didn't work out.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article