Bretagne Classic (GP Plouay) - 1.WT2

Because, well, there are far too few threads about all kinds of races.
For crying out loud, it's the second largest one day race in France (behind l'Enfer and since the dishonoring of Paris-Tours).
Where's the enthusiasm?

53rd Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France: Plouay-Plouay (248,1 km)

Click for a larger version.

I read the route has changed. I feel like it's more challenging, better for classic riders and less suited for sprinters. The fact that a lot of them fast men preferred the Deutschland Tour might add to that assumption. The final with the Côte de Ty Marrec seems to be the same. They almost reach 250 kilometres, which makes it significantly longer than races like San Sebastian and Hamburg.

Last year

Twelve months ago Oliver Naesen claimed his second victory in Plouay. In horribly wet weather conditions, Ag2r's Flemish leader proved to have the stronger kick compared to Michael Valgren Andersen (2018's revelation, 2019's disappointment) and compatriot Tim Wellens.

1 Oliver Naesen ALM 6:16:34
2 Michael Valgren AST +0
3 Tim Wellens LTS +3
4 Michael Matthews SUN +1:13
5 Ruben Guerreiro TFS +1:13
6 Zdenek Štybar QST +1:13
7 Olivier Le Gac GFC +1:15
8 Valentin Madouas GFC +1:17
9 Benoît Cosnefroy ALM +1:18
10 Fabio Jakobsen QST +1:24

Favourites & competitors

When things would come down to a bunch sprint, European champion and 2017 winner Viviani is the clear favourite. With in that case Démare, Matthews, Trentin, Laporte, Coquard, Nizzolo, Philipsen as his biggest rivals. Some of them might benefit from a more northern classic kind of race development, which would obviously bring guys like Van Avermaet, Wellens, Benoot, Jungels, Mohoric, Vanmarcke, Terpstra, Kragh Andersen, Valgren (showed to still be alive during the BinckBank Tour), ... and of course Olli Naesen into contention.

Click for the startlist

Oliver Naesen & Elia Viviani
Michael Matthews, Matteo Trentin & Greg Van Avermaet
Bob Jungels, Christophe Laporte, Matej Mohoric & Tim Wellens


Estimated finish time: 16:50 GMT+1
Weather conditions: a bit over 20° Celsius with sunny spells
They have added much more hills in this recent edition. It looks much harder. Almost like an Ardennes classics. I don't think it can be won by a sprinter anymore even if Viviani is perhaps the best one-day racer of all the pure sprinters.

That's why many of the teams are bringing puncheurs and even climbers to the race. People like Groenewegen, Ackermann and Ewan are skipping this race for a good reason.