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.
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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.
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.
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