The French one-day cup race marked the kick-off for Euskaltel's European season, and DS Iñaki Isasi had brought a potent seven riders to the start in the hope of seeing the likes of Jure Kocjan and Pablo Urtasun impose themselves in the likely scenario of a sprint finish.
The sprint finish materialized, but the duo was by then several minutes in arrears. Left to fend for the team's honour were new signing Ricardo Mestre, the Portuguese all-rounder, and Ricardo García. They got away with 18th and 26th respectively in a race won by home rider Justin Jules of La Pomme Marseille.
Romain Sicard was on course to finish in that first group alongside them, but got caught up in a pile-up two clicks out. The Frenchman hit the deck, but avoided any serious injury and got up and finished the race in 77th place.
Results (full results here):
- (1, Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille), 3:40:05)
- 18, Ricardo Mestre, s.t.
- 26, Ricardo García, s.t.
- 42, Rubén Pérez, 1:04
- 77, Romain Sicard, 3:18
- 89, Jure Kocjan, 3:45
- DNF: Pablo Urtasun, Adrián Sáez
Watch the finale below:
The same septet will take part in the five-day Étoile de Bessèges starting this coming Wednesday, January 30, and running through Sunday February 3.