British road champion Kristian House lies sixth overall and leads the mountains classification in the Mi-Aout Bretonne after taking third spot on Thursday's second stage.
The Rapha Condor man got in a group of six with 50km remaining but was unable to latch onto the two Russians, Timofey Kritskiy (Katyusha) and Alexander Prishpetniy (Primorsky), as the break split on the final climb. Kritskiy took the stage, with House crossing the line 51 seconds later.
House and the Rapha team are regular visitors to races in Northern France and know what to expect. "The roads are heavy and not fast, but the racing suits us. It’s hard from the gun and keeps getting harder. You can push yourself so much harder here," said House.
But suffer a mechanical and you may well miss the boat, as House explained. "It took me 40 minutes to get from the back to the front of the bunch, because it’s such a big peloton and the roads are so narrow."
Rapha Condor's Darren Lapthorne flew the flag for the team in Wednesday's opening stage, featuring in the race-long break before suffering cramp in the closing kilometres. The stage was won by cyclo-cross World Champion Niels Albert. "He rode across to Darren's group on his own and then rode straight through them," said an impressed House. "I think he’s just using this for training, so his team weren’t fussed about protecting the yellow jersey."
The four-stage UCI 2.2 race continues today (Friday 14) with a 183km stage to Cleguer.
Stage Two - Vélodrome du Poher - Poullaouen 175km
1. Timofey Kritskiy (Katyusha)
2. Alexander Prishpetniy (Primorsky DSP)
3. Kristian House (Rapha Condor)
4. Florent Barle (AVC Aix)
5. Andrei Krasilnikau (CMC)
6. Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Van Vliet)
7. Andrey Solomennikov (Katyusha)
8. Maarten De Jonge (Beveren 2000)
9. Dalivier Ospina (CMC)
10. Jelle Wallays (Beveren 2000)
1. Julien Bérard (Fra) Chambéry Formation Ag2R
2. Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Joker Bianchi same time
3. Kévin Lalouette (Fra) Usste Austreberthe Pavily Barentin at 27secs
4. Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Katusha Continental at 46secs
5. Alexander Prishpetnyi (Rus) Team Primorskyi Dsp at 47secs
6. Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor at 1min 38secs
7. Andrei Krasilnikau (Blr) Centre Mondial Du Cyclisme at 2mins 9secs
8. Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Beveren 2000 - Quick Step at 2mins 42secs
9. Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) Katusha Continental same time
10. Dalivier Ospina (Col) Centre Mondial Du Cyclisme at 2mins 46secs
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