Kreiz Breizh Elites
Anyone know what the hell Kreiz Breizh even means? It seems strange to name a race after something that barely anyone knows but for those of those uninformed, including me until a little bit ago, Kreiz Breizh is a name for the central region of Bretagne. So in other words, this race could be called Central Brittany Elites in English...or something like that. It is equivelant in my mind to having a professional race called Central Siberia Elites. Makes no sense in my mind.
In any case, this is another French stage race that seems like packing peanuts for the calendar to some but it is one tough fucking race. Not good in cross winds? Tough shit. Be prepared for some long days. This isn't incredibly hilly but it is some of the more unforgiving terrain in France. French flat all day. Up and down, up and down; an incredible amount of small hills that never seem to end.
Stage 1 saw Kevin Lebreton, a U23 with Armee de Terre (French Army), win out of a small breakaway group along with Matteo Busato (Mg.Kvis-Trevigiani) and Conor Dunne (AnPost-ChainReaction).
Day 2 was a split day that was pretty great for Rabobank Development. The morning stage, a short 85 kilometer stage, was won by neo-U23 Andre Looij ahead of Bert Van Lerberghe (EFC-OPQS), Nicolas Vereecken and Romain Cardis (Vendee U/Europcar). The afternoon stage was a short, lumpy affair to Carhaix. Timo Roosen (Rabo Devo) broke away from a select group and won solo by 11 seconds on the group containing Jack Wilson (AnPost-ChainReaction), Floris De Tier (EFC-OPQS) and Busato, who took over the overall lead.
The final stage was "non-threatening". I use quotations because it was filled with wind and that shitty French flat that saw many get dropped and many more drop out. Rabobank Continental kept the winning streaking going with Stan Godrie taking the bunch sprint ahead of Benoit Sinner and Vereecken. Busato wrapped up the overall for Mg.Kvis-Trevigiani while 5 U23s finished in the top 10 overall including Roosen, Wilson, Maxime Cam, De Tier and Lebreton.
-As of Wednesday, Phil Bauhaus (Stolting) has won two sprint stages of the Volta a Portugal. It is an accomplishment when a non-Iberian rider wins a stage in Portugal and Bauhaus, who is just 20, has dominated the sprints in Portugal albeit against a reduced sprinting field that has included Davide Vigano and Manuel Cardoso.
-Quentin Jauregui got 3rd in Polynormande. Many people might just scan over a results like that and not say much but Polynormande is a 1.1 race i.e. really fucking hard. Rolling hills on top of hills that seemingly never end and flying attacks that go non-stop for 160 kilometers. Nice result.
-Nicola Gaffurini (Vega-Hot Sand) won the Trofeo Bastianelli ahead of Artur Fedosseyev (Astana CT) and Davide Pacchiardo. The race wasn't the best quality but Gaffurini is a good sprinter so he cleaned up.
-Nearly a week ago now, Luca Chirico (Mg.Kvis-Trevigiani) finished a close 2nd to Carlos Barbero (Euskadi) at the Circuito de Gexto.
-The Tour of Utah is on going but it has been pretty good for U23s. So far, Robin Carpenter got the KOM jersey on the first day and Tanner Putt has finished in the top 10 on both of the first two stages. Carpenter and Dan Eaton have featured in multiple breakaways. American U23s...you get a thumbs up.