During the race (Livron – Livron, 206 km) the Kazakh team was very active, helping in chasing the breakaway of the day. Later, on the climbs the Astana riders were in front, attacking and counter attacking.
- It was quite cold today and for me it was a bit challenging. I felt good and my legs worked well. So, I tried to do a strong race. At the final part of the race we had three Astana riders in the leading group, me, Hugo Houle and Andriy Grivko and we worked well, trying to invent something on the climbs. These races in France are really tough: narrow roads, cold and wind, but I like it. Anyway, for many of us these races in France were like a preparation for the next big goals. We had a good team here, and I am sure, in the next races guys like Tanel Kangert or Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev or Hugo Houle will get some nice results, - said after finish Sergei Chernetskii.
There was a crucial moment of the race with around 18 km to go, when three riders went away on a climb: Bob Jungels, Jhonatan Narvaez and Lilian Calmejane very quicky have got a comfortable advantage of 30 seconds and this was enough for them to reach the finish line and to play the race win.
Calmejane attacked his rivals with 1,5 km to go, taking a solo victory in Livron. Narvaez was second, while Jungels completed the podium with third.
Two Astana riders, Sergei Chernetskii and Hugo Houle stayed in the closest chasing group, fighting for a Top-10 spot at the finish. Finally, Chernetskii finished 14th, while Houle did 16th.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto