Fine 3rd place for Lobato
09 April 2014

Circuit de la Sarthe (st. 1)

Andalusian beaten by Bouhanni (FDJ) and Nizzolo (TFR) in first of two big chances in France. Double sector scheduled for Wednesday, including decisive TT

The 62nd Circuit de la Sarthe (UCI 2.1) started on Tuesday in the Atlantic coast of France with a 197km journey from Saint-Jean-de-Monts to Saint-Géréon, with no major mountainous challenges. It was a clear chance for the two Movistar Team fastmen, Juanjo Lobato and Fran Ventoso, to open their sprinting victory account, the race offering two flat stages and as many lumpy days adequate to the abilities by the two Spaniards.

With Ventoso still struggling due to his crash in Gent-Wevelgem and the recent Ronde van Vlaanderen, it was the Andalusian’s task to lead the Blues’ hopes. He ended up with a notable result, beaten only by Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Giacomo Nizzolo (TFR) at the mass sprint. Wednesday will offer a more difficult panorama, with a flat morning sector (09.40 CET) of 88km from Ancenis to Angers, followed by a 6.8km individual time trial where Dowsett, Sütterlin, Herrada and Gutiérrez -all of them into the main field today- will pursue glory.