The 51st edition of Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste (2.2) started today and Damien Shaw (An Post-Chain Reaction) made a brave bid for victory on the 153.2-kilometre stage from Rennes to Merdrinac
Hoping to repeat his success on the first stage of the Tour of Loir-et-Cher recently, Shaw went clear with Ruben Zepuntke from Development Team Sunweb and the duo worked well together gaining a lead of nearly six minutes after 100 kilometres.
Shaw won both KOMs en route, meaning that he goes into Stage 2 wearing the King of the Mountains leader’s jersey.
However, the gap was reducing as Shaw and Zepuntke moved onto the three laps of the finishing circuit with Pro Continental teams Androni-Sidermec and Wilier Triestina leading the chase.
The Italian teams were chasing on behalf of their sprinters – Matteo Malucelli (Androni Giocattoli) and Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina) – and as the leaders started their final lap, their lead was just two minutes.
As the race entered its closing stages, Shaw attacked his breakaway companion and was only caught by the peloton within sight of the finish line. The race finished in a bunch sprint with victory going to Bram Welten (BMC Development Team) ahead of Malucelli and Mareczko.
Shaw now sits in fourth place on GC thanks to time bonuses. The race continues tomorrow with a 202-kilometre stage from Saint-Launeuc to Saint-Pol-de-Léon.