Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz took his first victory in An Post-Chain Reaction colours today and his first victory in two years when he won the fifth stage of Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste. The Polish rider had been a member of the six-man break which went clear half way through the stage.

It was a fast start to the 152.4-kilometre stage which took the riders from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Pern. Numerous riders tried to escape in the opening kilometres but were pulled back by the peloton each time.

A group of 28 riders did escape for a time, but once again were brought back and with 87 kilometres remaining, the winning break went clear. In addition to Kasperkiewicz, the group also contained his team-mate Damien Shaw, Anders Skaarseth (Joker-Icopal), Jérémy Cabot (Roubaix-Lille Métropole), Maxime Cam (Côtes d’Armor-Marie Morin) and Florian Cam (Bretagne).

The six riders built a maximum lead of over 4’30” before the peloton started to chase in earnest, being led by the U23 Lotto-Soudal and the United States teams. Despite their best efforts, the leaders could not be brought back as the riders faced five finishing circuits at Saint-Pern.

Damien Shaw attacked on the final lap and when the Irishman was brought back, Kasperkiewicz countered coming into the final kilometre. The 23 year-old hung on to take the win with Skaarseth taking second and Maxime Cam third, with Shaw in fifth.

Maxime Cam has taken over the leader’s jersey, 1’09” ahead of previous race leader Flavien Dassonville (HP BTP – Auber93) with Kasperkiewicz in third. Damien Shaw has moved up to fifth overall, 1’24” down on Cam. The An Post-Chain Reaction team have moved into the lead in the team competition.

Photo: An Post CRC

Director Sportive Neil Martin described the stage: “Today we rode the perfect race…always on the offensive…3 guys in the first break…then this break of 6 with Damien and Kasper. It was all about belief with Kasper….he is uber-class and showed it today. As staff we’re super happy that the infrastructure we have and offer to the guys is now paying off.”

“We now have 3 riders inside the top 10 in the general classification with Kasperkiewicz sitting in 3rd – 1’12 down on the leader, Damien Shaw 5th – 1’24 down and Sean MacKinnon 9th – at 1’51. These great standings mean we are leading the ‘Team’ competition by a margin of 2’49 over Team Joker Icopal.”

The race continues with a hilly 160 kilometres between Montanan De Bretagne and Pontivy, with more short finishing circuits.


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