By Josh Cunningham
Promising young Brit Doug Dewey has started his 2014 European campaign with a bang, after taking the win at Circuit des Plages Vendéennes in France on Saturday (February 15).
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The race was the first in a series of six Elite National level races which comprise the Plages Vendéennes series, held in the department of Pays de la Loire.
“It was seven laps of a 20km circuit,” recounts Dewey, “including an epic 5km crosswind section along the coast. Each team took it in turns to put the hurt on, but in the end it regrouped on the final lap.
“A Vendée U rider attacked, I saw the perfect opportunity to follow, and we held a 10 second advantage over a 170-strong bunch for the entire 9km to the finish. I launched one just before the flamme rouge, and after he kept the gap to just 10 metres, I eventually cracked my companion in the final hundred metres to enjoy the victory.”
Dewey, who rides for Team U Nantes Atlantique, has shown before that he tends to enjoy a bout of early season form, winning in both France and Belgium before the first week of March in 2013 and 2012 respectively. But he nonetheless insists the form graph is still steepening; “Form-wise I’m definitely strong, but having said that I’m certainly not ‘peaking’. There’s a few percent left in me yet.”
“I’ll be doing GP Jean-Masse on Sunday; the first instalment of the DN1 Coupe de France [French Cup]. The Coup de France are big, big races and are generally the prime targets during the season, so Sunday should be a good one.”
Grand Prix Souvenir Jean-Masse will be held in Provence this Sunday, February 23, which as well as Dewey has added British interest in the form of James McLaughlin and Ali Slater of the Guidon Chalettois team.