Photos: Getty Sport
Bart Lemmen brought Poitou Charentes to a close in style by winning the sprints standings overall as well as the combativity jersey on the final day of racing.
Riding in a six-rider breakaway alongside teammate Gage Hecht, Lemmen raced aggressively on the route from Moncouant to Poitiers, winning at all of the sprint points. Such was his strength, Lemmen also climbed to second on the KOM standings.
“It’s great to have a little something after a week of racing here in France,” Lemmen said at the finish. “With a few more riders the win really was up for grabs. It didn’t turn out that way, but we can be happy with how we rode.”
With all eyes on creating an early break, Hecht described the peloton as “angtsy” and reluctant to give the likes of Pan American champion Pier-André Coté the space to attack.
Eventually, Lemmen created a move with Hecht, “following a rider through a hole that ended getting a gap quickly.” Crucially, the duo were able to save energy for later in the stage before launching a daring bid for victory on the rolling local circuit in Poitiers.
“Bart decided we should go all in and see what we could do,” Hecht said. “We gave it a hard effort and ended up only having three of us the last time through the finish. I think we executed that pretty well. It’s pretty hard to compete with a chasing peloton like that, so we did all we could.”
“The move put a lot of pressure on some other teams who had to burn some extra riders to pull us back,” explains Hecht. “The third rider was not fully committed so unfortunately it wasn’t enough and we were caught with 7 kilometers left,” Lemmen adds. “I think Gage deserves to get the jerseys just as much as me.”
McGill and Coté then finished with a flourish, coming away with top fifteen finishes.
The men’s team is next in action at the premiere event of the year, the Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealtchare, followed by a run of races in Europe.
Final sprints classification after stage 4
1 LEMMEN Bart – Human Powered Health 12 points
2 MCGILL Scott – Human Powered Health 12
3 MARTIN David – EOLO-Kometa 8
4 SEVILLA Diego Pablo – EOLO Kometa 6
5 COSTIOU Ewen – Team Arkéa-Samsic 5
Final KOM standings after stage 4
1 FOUCHÉ James – Bolton Equities Black Spoke 21 points
2 LEMMEN Bart – Human Powered Health 14
3 MARTIN David – EOLO-Kometa 9
4 SEVILLA Diego Pablo – EOLO Kometa 8
5 HECHT Gage – Human Powered Health 7