Filippo Pozzato captures victory at GP Ouest-France in Plouay sprint finish
Last Updated: 01/09/13 4:30pm
Filippo Pozzato sprinted to victory
Filippo Pozzato continued his return to form as he took victory in a sprint finish at the GP Ouest-France.
The Italian (Lampre-Merida) timed his kick perfectly in the final metres to capture his third win of the year, narrowly edging out compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Leopard) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale).
The race came down to a bunch sprint after an attacking finale on a tough Plouay course. BMC Racing kept control of proceedings on the final lap and with a number of late attacks reeled in, the peloton came back together as it hit the Ty Marrec climb.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) was able to open up a slight gap under the flamme rouge, but with a surging peloton there was no holding off the inevitable bunch sprint.
The 243km event began early on Sunday morning with four riders opening out a hefty advantage. Vegard Stake Laengen (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), Christophe Laborie (Sojasun), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) took 16 minutes on the pack in a move made up exclusively of French squads.
Something had to give and slowly the gap began to creep down as the riders tackled nine laps of the demanding 27km circuit. Argos-Shimano, FDJ and Omega Pharma - Quick-Step all showed face on the front of the bunch looking to set something up for later in the race.
Team Sky were the next to hit the front and the race settled into a rhythm. That was no longer the case with 51km to go as Cyril Gautier's (Europcar) dig became the catalyst for a concerted period of attacks, the race beginning to become stretched.
David Lopez did a good job of covering the moves for Team Sky, and with the large increase in pace the break were swept up with 33km to go by a slightly reduced peloton.
The bell lap brought fresh attacks as Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) linked up briefly before a new trio of Kristijan Koren (Cannondale), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) chanced their arm.
With a number of motivated sprinters there was no stopping the bunch kick which saw Pozzato take an impressive victory at WorldTour level.