The Danish Champion gambles on sprint and takes a prized podium in Plouay
The 86th edition of Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France brought Alexander Kamp his best result in a WorldTour race since a 5th place in Amstel Gold earlier this season.
The French classic runs over a tough circuit around the hills of Plouay, and by the finish, the pace over the undulating terrain left 20 riders out front.
Like its previous editions the attacks were relentless in the last kilometers, and on the last climb, but no one could break the elastic in the 20-strong group.
The downhill leading to a small rise to the line is always tricky, and those – like Kamp – who gambled on a sprint ending, often can profit if they play it right.
Kamp looked to be boxed in but was able to use momentum from the downhill to slingshot out from the right-side and snag a cherished 3rd place in a WorldTour race.
Toms Skujins, who was prominent in covering attacks in the last kilometers and helping Kamp in the sprint, finished in 9th.
Reaction from Alexander Kamp
“I played my card and that was to do something in the sprint. I think today that was the only way I could make a result.
“I always like the chance to go for a result, but I was not sure how the legs would be at the finish. To be honest, in the beginning of the race I had terrible legs, and I was thinking to turn around and go in the bus.
“After 100kms they start to turn around and I felt better and better, but in the last 50kms I said to Toms that I don’t have this little bit extra today. And he just said to me to be near the group and do my best in the sprint. I did that, but I honestly did not have the super legs today to attack but only to stay in the group.”
“Toms (Skujins) did a great job in riding me into position, and I want to thank him. I also think Markus (Hoelgaard) did a really good job in being out front in the end. It was a really great team spirit today. We were not one of the big favorites to win this race so we can be happy with this result. The ambition for today was a top 10 and we completed that goal.
“It’s good for the morale and now I just want to make one more in the Canada races. I know they are hard, and I have never done them before, but why not? You need to keep momentum.”