By Chris Marshall-Bell published
Benoit Cosnefroy scored his third win of the season by impressively winning the fourth and final stage of La Route d’Occitanie in the French Pyrenees.
The AG2R La Mondiale 24-year-old attacked in the final kilometre on a steep climb into the finishing town of Rocamadour, holding off the advances of a group of four climbers including Egan Bernal by two seconds.
Bernal’s fourth-placed means that he wins the race overall following his victory on stage three. It is Team Ineos’ first general classification win since the season’s restart. His teammate Pavel Sivakov held on to finish second on the podium.
Cosnefroy, regarded as one of France’s leading young riders, won the GP la Marseillaise and Etoile de Besseges in February.
A notable presence on stage four’s finish was Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) in third, a strong showing with the Tour de France less than four weeks away.
Bernal's team-mate, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, finished in 37th overall at 9-26 down on the winner. Froome, who was on deomestique duty for Bernal during the race, is aiming to secure a place at the 2020 Tour in the Ineos line-up, ahead of his transfer to Israel Start-Up Nation next season.
La Route d’Occitanie, stage four: Lectoure to Rocamadour (195km)
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, in 4-23-26
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 2 secs
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana, all at same time
6. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 7 secs
7. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo, all at same time
9. Rafael Valls (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 10 secs
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at same time
Final general classification
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos, in 17-57-27
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos, at 19 seconds
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana, at 23s
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 37s
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-09
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-26
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at 1-29
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-52
9. Rafael Valls (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 1-57
10. Sébastian Reichenbach (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-06
Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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