Oliver Naesen spoils the sprinters' party to claim Bretagne Classic

Belgian Oliver Naesen takes victory in France just moments before the sprinters group cross the finish line in Plouay

Oliver Naesen wins the G.P. Plouay in 2016
(Image credit: Watson)

Oliver Naesen (IAM Cycling) won the Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France on Sunday from a two-man escape, evading the chasing peloton by just seconds.

Belgian Naesen and Italian Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac) were in a late move in the final 10 kilometres of the gruelling 247-kilometre WorldTour race in Brittany, north-west France.

The two riders worked together into the finish, as Naesen took the victory ahead of Bettiol and defending champion Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) brought the chasing bunch home for third.

>>> Peter Sagan abandons first road race after Olympics with illness

The victory is the biggest of 25-year-old Naesen's career so far. He will be heading to French WorldTour squad Ag2r for 2017 as the IAM team folds at the end of the 2016 season.

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) made his return to road racing in Plouay after contesting the mountain bike discipline at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. However, the world champion's appearance was short lived as he withdrew due to illness.

On Saturday, Eugenia Bujak (BTC-City Ljubljana) took a surprise win in the women's race.

Result

Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France: Plouay to Plouay 247km

1. Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling in 5-58-46

2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac

3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha

4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange

5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin

6. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice

7. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ

8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx-QuickStep

10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data all same time

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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.