CRASH ENDS HOPES ON STAGE ONE OF KREIZ BREIZH ELITE | ONE Pro Cycling

The first stage of Kreiz Breizh Elite, a UCI 2.2 race on the Europe Tour calendar, rolled out of the town Calanhel in drizzly conditions and high winds. The course headed South and wound it’s way through the heart of Brittany to the finishing town of Plouray, where riders would complete 3 laps of a challenging 8km finishing circuit. The 198.3km opening stage featured a total of 4 king of the mountain classifications and offered no fewer than 4 intermediate sprint points.

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During the opening 60km the pressure was high in the peloton as a breakaway attempted to escape. On several occasions, small groups of riders would go clear before the peloton frantically chased to bring them back. With the nature of the course and the high winds adding another element of difficulty to the stage, the peloton split into multiple groups during the opening hour before regrouping once again. Karol Domagalski suffered a front wheel puncture as the race fractured and was left with a hard 10km chase to regain the peloton.

After 60km of racing a break of 3 riders finally broke clear and quickly gained a 1 minute advantage over the peloton as teams took a opportunity to regroup and get themselves back together. The 3 man break worked well together, managing to establish a maximum advantage of 5 minutes after 75km of racing before the peloton starting to chip away at the advantage.

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At the 89km point, the race took in its first classified climb and Tom Baylis found himself off the front of the peloton, opening an advantage of over 1 minute on the bunch behind. However, after making the gutsy maneuver he was only accompanied by 1 other rider and they made the decision to return to the bunch 15kms later.

As the race hit the finishing circuit with 24km to go, an eager peloton were starting to gather themselves for a bunch sprint and left the 3 man breakaway dangling off the front of the bunch by just 1 minute.

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With just 5km remaining, the leaders were eventually engulfed back into the peloton and the battle for position commenced. ONE Pro Cycling were well placed heading into the final kilometre however a large crash saw Tom Stewart brought down and the team become unorganised as the peloton of 156 riders raced to the line.

Karol Domagalski was left isolated and picked his way through the group to cross the line in 11th place. The rest of the team including Tom Stewart crossed the line shortly afterwards to set themselves up nicely for the next 3 stages of racing. Stage 2 is due to start at 8am UK time tomorrow (Sunday 30th) before the race continues in the afternoon for Stage 3.

Photo Credit: Marie Greneche