Classic Loire Atlantique
La Haye-Fouassière to La Haye-Fouassière, 182.8km
Round Two Coupe De France
Sat 18th March
It's been a long time since #1 of the Coupe de France way back on 29th Jan hasn't it? So much racing under our belts that's it's hard to recall the day
Arthur Vichot cocked a snook at curses and took the win GP La Marseillaise.
However, #2 is upon us AT LAST. I know we'll all be in La Primevera mode, but let's not forsake the French altogether
because the hilly circuits that make up the Classic Loire Atlantique always provide some exciting racing.
It's your typical Coupe de France race. A tough, hilly parcours
that will be aggressively raced, hard to control and therefore completely unpredictable. Since it's inclusion in the competition in 2012 it has never come down to a bunch sprint finish. Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seche) won from a two-up sprint in 2012, but since then Cammaerts, Gougeard (twice) and Turgis all took victory from a solo move.Previous Winners
2016 | TURGIS Anthony
2015 | GOUGEARD Alexis
2014 | GOUGEARD Alexis
2013 | CAMMAERTS Edwig
2012 | VACHON Florian
2011 | WESTRA Lieuwe
2010 | MANGEL Laurent
2009 | BESSY Cyril
2008 | GAZTANAGA Mikel
2007 | JALABERT Nicolas2016 Edition
Cofidis take the race apart. They put 5 riders in the decisive 8 man break and finished with 4 in the top 5. Anthony Turgis
went solo on the final lap and with 4 team mates in the 7 man chase group, stayed away to take victory by over a minute.https://twitter.com/m_chaillot/status/711297003033124864
2016 was a particularly brutal edition, with only 49 finishing from the 168 on the start line. This wasn't due to bad weather, it was the sheer speed and aggression of the racing, with many saying it was a harder race than #MSRhttps://twitter.com/PDiegner/status/711641506839453696https://twitter.com/PDiegner/status/711598250227310593Parcours
182.8km sees the peloton cover 11 laps of a lumpy 16.8km circuit in the hills south of La Haye Fouassiére. The hilly circuit is really an invitation to attacks and that makes the race very unpredictable.
There are two main climbs. Chateau-Thebaud is tackled at 7.5km and the St-Fiacre-sur-Main at 9.8km. After the St Fiacre the remaining 7km is rolling all the way to the finish. The last 3km is fairly straightforward, with a slight uphill drag to the line.
Little YouTube preview of the course here...with a slideshow of the climbs 2017 Start List
Teams. As below PLUS a French National team
Confirmed start list
Who'll stand atop the podium?
As I said, it's unpredictable and much will depend on how the bigger teams ride the race. You're looking for in-form riders, those who can sniff the winning move and have the strength to stay with it. Start looking for your needle in the giant haystack now. Me? I'm going with the brown shorted Vuillermoz
Not sure yet. It's not listed on either Cycling Fans
or Pro Cycling Live
Eurosport seem to have it listed, and I'm certain there will be a French stream. I'll update with any I find.
Direct Velo will have a livetickerSocial MediaWebsite
Race Twitter @ClassicLoire44