Beautiful Brittany – despite the current weather

I always feel that despite being hillier than Rutland, Brittany has a lot in common with my local region.

There is an exposed coast that we dont have here, but the short punchy climbs do have plenty in common and the ribinou farm tracks sit nicely alongside those sectors of farm track we use in our own Rutland CICLE classic.

I noted in a post recently that I was in mid flow about how Tro Bro Leon, a single day classic that showcases this area and its off road culture, was the best days racing of 2021 to date.

Then the Giro went over the Strade Bianche on a chilly Tuscan day and I had to take some time to reset.

However, I am still at pains to highlight the wonderful nature of Tro Bro and talk about the fact it had a British winner in Connor Swift.

Not only were there up and down hill off road segments to race, there was windy exposed coast line and far from living up to its unofficial tag as “the Hipsters classic” the race was proving to be a hard mans classic.

Swift was joined in a breakaway by local rider Olivier Le Gac of Groupama/FDJ and they drove on through the mud and past lush green hedges to fight out the finish.

Piet Allegaert, a Belgian with Cofidis was also in the move and despite clearly being the strongest, our lad Connor launched his sprint early to make sure.

This saw off Le Gac who was out of it but as Swift threw his hands of the bars to celebrate, Allegaert threw his bike forward leading to a close photo finish.

It was a dramatic end to a brilliant race that had weather, terrain and the riders making it so enjoyable a watch.

RnkRiderTeamUCIPntTime
1 SWIFT ConnorTeam Arkéa Samsic2001255:18:38
2 ALLEGAERT PietCofidis, Solutions Crédits15085,,
3 PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux12560,,
4 LE GAC OlivierGroupama – FDJ10050,,
5 TILLER RasmusUno-X Pro Cycling Team8545,,
6 DEGENKOLB JohnLotto Soudal70400:26
7 NAESEN OliverAG2R Citroën Team6035,,
8 WELTEN BramTeam Arkéa Samsic5030,,
9 LAPORTE ChristopheCofidis, Solutions Crédits4026,,
10 GENIETS KevinGroupama – FDJ3522,
from procyclingstats.com

We haven’t even mentioned Phillippe Gilbert attacking from the chasing group late on but not being able to make the top 10.

It’s one for my bucket list to go and watch and ride the course. I can’t wait.

Canadian pro team Rally Cycling posted this gallery which captures the mood perfectly…

Stage 11 of the Giro – best grand tour stage since?

Where to start on this stage?

Ineos drove the other favourites to submission on the gravel roads and just days after I started a post saying that the Ribinou of Tro Bro Leon were better than Strade Bianche I might be forced not to publish that piece!

Here is a brilliant gallery from cycling tips. Enjoy.