- I was a bit tired after the travel from Norway (Arctic Race of Norway) to France, so I’m happy with this result. There was a big change in temperature, so today was about adapting to these circumstances. It was an aggressive race and the finish was technical, but I felt quite good and managed to reach my main goal, which was to finish in the same time as the winner. I’m looking forward to the time trial on Thursday, as I’m curious what I can do there. -Hugo Houle.
The 192.2-kilometer-long opening stage of Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine, started in Jonzac and finished in Cognac. A group of five riders took off for the day’s break, but they were not able to stay clear until the finish line as the team of Arnaud Demare controlled the race. Demare was the fastest sprinter of the day, he takes the first leader jersey of the Tour Poitou-Charentes. Of the Astana riders, Hugo Houle finished tenth, all the other riders finished just 3 seconds behind the bunch sprint.
Tomorrow the riders will start in Segonzac for stage 2, finishing in Melle after 189 kilometers. With three relatively easy KOM’s and three intermediate sprints, it’s a similar stage like stage 1. On Thursday, there will be another stage and the ITT.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto