Neo-pro Shines at Circuit Sarthe Finale
07 April 2017
Race: Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, stage 4
Start/Finish: Abbaye de l’Epau-Saint Calais
Saint Palais, France — Team Novo Nordisk Neo-Pro Romain Gioux pulled a veteran move on Friday at the final stage of the Circuit Sarthe, sticking with the lead group over a tough circuit on a hot day to finish 16th and register the first big result of his professional career.
Gioux and the rest of his teammates watched the day unfold from inside a nervous peloton, as leading teams competed for a tight general classification on an unexpectedly hilly course with strong winds for most of the day. On the 11km finishing circuit riders took seven laps in front of a giant crowd of French fans and watched as the leading group lost 30 percent of its workforce from the stiff competition.
The day’s breakaway of just four riders was never able to gain much more than one minute on the peloton, and faded back into the main bunch after just two laps on the tight and technical laps around Saint Calais. The team of overall leader Lilian Calmejeane kept the pace high and brought just half the peloton into the final corner, where Gioux stamped down on the pedals to sprint intelligently and efficiently to a very impressive top 20 finish.
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Lionel Marie
“We are happy with the gold-medal performance of Romain today, and in this block of French racing he and Charles Planet have pushed out at their limits to make progress from day one. The rest of the guys are in need of more racing days to find the same sharpness, with Gerd, Umberto and Quentin on the way up. Javi was very good on the Queen Stage here, and when we go to our next races we know the teamwork the guys showed in France will continue to improve.”
“The finishing circuits were really hard today, because the GC wasn’t done before the stage. Arthur Vichot and Calmejeane were just seven seconds apart, so it was full gas all day. With the crosswind it was very, very, very hard. For me Circuit Sarthe was a really good race, and every day I got better and better. For the last stage I was really good, and to do this block of competition in the last week has been really good for me.”
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will race next at Fleche Brabanconne.
- 1st: Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie): 4:33:31
- 2nd: Clement Venturini (Cofidis, Solutions Credit): same time as Coquard
- 3rd: Daniele Bennati (Movistar Team): same time as Coquard
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Romain Gioux: 16th: same time as Coquard
- Charles Planet: 31st: same time as Coquard
- Javier Megias: 37th: same time as Coquard
- Quentin Valognes: DNF
- Umberto Poli: DNF
- Gerd De Keijzer: DNF
(Photos: ©Régis Garnier)