Circuit Cycliste Sarthe: Matteo Pelucchi takes stage one as a late crash hits the peloton
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Circuit Cycliste Sarthe: Matteo Pelucchi takes stage one as a late crash hits the peloton

by Ben Atkins at 3:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Circuit Cycliste Sarthe
Italian sprinter gets his first win for IAM Cycling and takes the yellow jersey

matteo pelucchi

Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) took his first victory for the new Swiss team as he won the bunch sprint on the first stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, between Fontenay-le-Comte and Ligné. After a crash had disrupted the peloton in the final three kilometres, the Italian beat compatriot Sacha Modolo (Bardiani-CSF) in the dash for the line, with French Olympic track silver medallist Bryan Coquard (Europcar) in third at the end of the 179.4km stage.

“A massive crash happened with about three kilometres to go to the line, and that completely changed the situation,” Pelucchi explained.

“The wind was favourable in the long straight,” he continued. “Positioning would be all important so I made sure I was in the right spot with 300 metres to go, and I was on the wheel of Sacha Modolo.  I kept my position and managed to hold off a surging [FDJ’s Nacer] Bouhanni.  I am very happy with this win and would like to thank the team for their support and confidence.

“I need their confidence to succeed and feel as though I can win against anyone when I have their support,” he added.

The break of the day was formed when Ronny Martias (Sojasun) and Nicola Boen (Bardiani-CSF) attacked in the opening kilometre, and were quickly joined by Kévin Reza (Europcar). The trio covered 38.2km in the opening hour of the race and, after 45km, were 4’10” clear of the peloton. This was as far as the gap was allowed to grow, however, as FDJ controlled the chase behind.

As they crossed the finish line for the first time, with four 6.7km finishing circuits to complete, the three riders were just 1’05” ahead; the second time the gap was just 35 seconds, which had dropped just three seconds by the third. The peloton closed in fast on the penultimate lap, however, and the break was over at the 170km point with just over one circuit to go.

With just over two kilometres to go a crash brought down a number of riders, including Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge) and Iker Camano (NetApp-Endura). Neither rider was able to finish, with Bewley fracturing his collarbone and Camano suffering suspected fractures to a rib and elbow; both were given the same time as the winner, but neither would start stage two.

The peloton was disrupted but most of the sprinters had managed to get around the incident, and Pelucchi managed to take the victory.

Result stage 1
1. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
2. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
3. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
5. Alexei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team
6. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Leopard
8. Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Leonardo Duque (Col) Team Colombia
10. Benoit Drujon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93

Standings after stage 1
1. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
2. Nicola Boen (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 3s
3. Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 4s
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar @ 6s
6. Ronny Martias (Fra) Sojasun
7. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ @ 10s
8. Alexei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team
9. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
10. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Leopard


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