Photos: Getty Sport
Human Powered Health Cycling’s men’s team had a dream start to the Poitou – Charentes stage race in France with Scott McGill ending the day second on general classification after dominating the breakaway and leading the sprints standings.
McGill’s exploits in the break, along with a tenth and nineteenth place finish on the stage for Bart Lemmen and Gage Hecht respectively, put the team at the top of the team classification, leading three UCI WorldTour teams.
“It feels good to get something out of being in the breakaway,” McGill said afterward. “I’m glad to pull on a jersey that will represent how aggressively I raced today.”
Part of a five-rider break on rolling roads from Confolens to Matha, McGill took the total amount of points at the three sprints at Rouhénac, Foussignac and Les Touches-de-Périgny, as well as the time bonuses. A charging peloton eventually pulled the group back with the in-form Norwegian Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) winning.
“I knew that if I focused on the sprints with time bonuses instead of the KOM, I would be able to climb the GC. I was able to win all three and so I’m really glad to have put the plan into reality and be second overall.”
The 24-year-old from Fallston, MD has shown great resilience in 2023. Having been struck by illness in the early part of the season, followed by being hit by a car in Girona, McGill has rebuilt his year, trained effectively and stayed on top of recovery to now perform at the backend of the year.
“It was very hot and a long stage,” he explains. “The staff were amazing today with these hot conditions and made sure that I had everything I needed so that I stayed hydrated with water and mix and well-fueled throughout the day so that I could perform at each sprint.”
A three-day race comprising four stages – with day three being separated into a morning road race and afternoon time-trial – Human Powered Health Cycling returns here having tasted success in 2021 with a second-placed stage finish by Robin Carpenter and a ninth place on the overall for Pier-André Coté.
Tomorrow, the riders take on a similar rolling parcours, but this time they will cross the line in Bressuire at the top of a 500-meter finishing ramp. The women’s team are also in action on stage 1 of the Tour of Scandinavia.
Poitou-Charentes sprints classification results
1 MCGILL Scott – Human Powered Health 12 points
2 SEVILLA Diego – EOLO-Kometa 6
3 GUÉGAN Maël – CIC-U Nantes Atlantique 3
Poitou-Charentes general classification after stage 1
1 WÆRENSKJOLD Søren – Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 4:35:39
2 MCGILL – Human Powered Health 0:01
3 LONARDI Giovanni – EOLO-Kometa 0:04
4 SEVILLA Diego Pablo – EOLO-Kometa ”
5 PENHOËT Paul – Groupama – FDJ 0:06
6 GUÉGAN Maël – CIC-U Nantes Atlantique 0:07
7 TESSON Jason – TotalEnergies 0:10
8 BARBIER Rudy – St Michel – Mavic – Auber93 ”
9 LEITĀO Iúri – Caja Rural – Seguros RGA ”
10 FIORELLI Filippo – Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè ”
Team classification after stage 1
1 Human Powered Health PRT 13:47:27
2 Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè PRT ”
3 Caja Rural – Seguros RGA PRT ”
4 EOLO-Kometa PRT ”
5 Bolton Equities Black Spoke PRT ”
6 CIC-U Nantes Atlantique CT ”
7 TotalEnergies PRT ”
8 Team Arkéa Samsic WT ”
9 St Michel – Mavic – Auber93 PRT ”
10 Van Rysel – Roubaix Lille Métropole CT ”