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"Then at the end we had Wout on the right, Elia on the left and then David in the middle. It was a downhill run to the finish and in the end it was the right-hand side with Wout which got the better run to the line.”

Photo: Sirotti

GP OUEST FRANCE-PLOUAY

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TEAM SKY

NEWS
30.08.2015 @ 22:36 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Wout Poels sprinted to an impressive eighth place at the GP Ouest-France after Team Sky had looked to attack in the closing stages.

 

The French one-day event came back together for a bunch kick in the final kilometres after a spate of late attacks, including digs from both Poels and Philip Deignan for Team Sky.

 

The pair tried to go clear on an undulating lap in Plouay as a tired peloton began to stretch following 229.1km of racing. Deignan jumped clear with 38km to go, joining up with a strong group of seven riders out front in a move that was chased hard by Etixx - Quick-Step.

 

On the final lap Poels attacked multiple times in a bid to go clear, while behind Team Sky massed their ranks including Ben Swift and Elia Viviani ahead of a potential sprint finish.

 

The short, sharp climb of the Cote de Ty-Marrec stood in the way, and with attacks in the final kilometres ramping up the pace, Viviani was just left with too much to do as he sprinted from deep, eventually crossing the line in 15th place.

 

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) continued a strong season with victory in France, narrowly fending off Simone Ponzi (Southeast) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin) in a blanket finish.

 

"The strategy was to cover both eventualities today," explained Sports Director Nicolas Portal . "For the last few years they changed the final climb to make it more narrow and slightly steeper. That gives more of a possibility for punchy guys so we knew that some teams would just wait until the end and then try to drop the sprinters on the climb.

 

"We had Elia and we knew that if he could get over the final climb then we would try to do a lead-out to help him. We also knew there would be attacks and it was better to cover the moves and put the pressure on the other teams. That's what we were able to do with Philip.

 

"Elia finished in the bunch sprint but it was a really hard finish. He got over the last climb with David Lopez and Wout. It was really hectic, and we had Wout and David trying to cover moves. Then at the end we had Wout on the right, Elia on the left and then David in the middle. It was a downhill run to the finish and in the end it was the right-hand side with Wout which got the better run to the line.”

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