Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tom Moses sneaks away to victory at Tour de Normandie

A fine victory for Tom Moses in true Norman weather (Photo: Tour de Normandie)

The 1st stage of the Tour de Normandie played out similarly for the majority of the stage with wind and tight roads wreaking havoc on the peloton but while last year's race finished in a reduced field sprint, this year the British decided to invade Normandie once again.

A group of three, including Kevin Lalouette, Stef Van Zummeren and Mark Christian, set out as the early breakaway and their gap jumped to over 5 minutes at one point before the peloton finally kicked it in gear and their gap dwindled. As the race entered Forges-les-Eaux, the breakaway was neutralized and the real fun began. In the rain, attacks and counter-attacks were launched and brought back in the final 28 kilometer circuit before Tom Moses (Rapha-Condor) attacked solo and, taking advantage of a lull in the action, got a good gap that quickly increased. While the peloton finally decided to pin it, Moses had already gotten a sufficient gap and while the peloton was at 300 meters to go, Moses was in full celebration as he crossed the rain-soaked line.

17 seconds later, Maarten van Trijp took out the field sprint ahead of Sondre Holst Enger to make it an all U-23 podium. Prologue winner Stefan Kung finished safely in the front group in 12th place and the vast majority of GC contenders emerged from the stage unscathed. Moses took over the leader's jersey by 6 seconds over Stefan Kung and looks like he could make a solid run at GC. He also took over the points classification and the U23 Youth classification while breakaway member Stef Van Zummeren took the KOM classification for his 3M team.

The race continues tomorrow with another lumpy stage to Elbuef-sur-Seine that includes a few hills but will have a flat finish so an attack does have a chance to stick but they will need some luck.

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