Report: Raleigh Boss Tour of Normandie


British team Raleigh-GAC bossed stage 3 of the Tour of Normandie with a 1-2 on the stage and now have 1-2 in the overall classification as well… phew!

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Alex Blain, winner of last year’s CiCLE Classic, won stage 3 for Raleigh-GAC and Eric Berthou was second after the team took the race to their rivals. With a cross wind blowing, Team De Rijke-Shanks & the Raleigh team got numbers on the front with the likes of Richard Lang, Mark Christian and Lachlan Norris and split the race with the first hour averaging 49 kilometers/hour. From that a break of around twenty riders escaped with three Raleigh-GAC riders in it.


Raleigh-GAC rider Alex Blain, winner in 2011, is back in yellow in his home race. Photo:

“We had a plan and we stuck to it” explained the team manager Cherie Pridham. With critical time bonuses on the road on offer, Eric Berthou and Tom Scully, winner of the prologue and second overall at the time, set Alex up for them. The race was always ‘on’ as is normal for a UCI 2.2 race and the gap hovered for ages around 40-45secs.

Finally, the elastic broke and the lead went out to 2:20 and them with 10k to go it was coming down fast. Using his experience, Eric Berthou (Team Raleigh – GAC) understood that the superiority of Team De Rijke-Shanks was no longer a threat in the break since the team has only two riders, while Raleigh team had three! He decided to attack at the start of the last finishing lap (three in all) on a winding road where the cross wind allowed him to close the door on his opponents. Except one: his teammate Alexandre Blain!. The French winner of the Tour of Normandy two years ago, with teammate headed for the finish at speed.


The bunch were closing in on the breakaway – 40 seconds with 6k and at the finish, their lead was down to only twenty seconds but with that and the bonuses, Blain took yellow in his home race and Scully, in the chasing group behind and sixth, kept his second overall place to give Raleigh-GAC a 1-2 in the race with three tough stages to go.

Rival team Leopard Trek who had held the yellow jersey, wrote on their website “Fabio Silvestre was set back to 7th place in the GC in the Tour de Normandie, after missing the right move on stage 3 between Thuit-Signol and Argentan. Team Raleigh team mates Alexandre Blain and Eric Berthou played it well and finished 20” ahead of the first chase group. Blain took the stage win.

Adriano Baffi: “This wasn’t a good day for us, expecially for our two strongest riders, Eugenio and Fabio. The start was fast, with cross winds and rain. A group of 22 riders went away without a Leopard rider. Fabio, Eugenio and Daniel were in the second group, without another 40 riders or so.”


Fabio Silvestre followed by Luke Mellor as Raleigh-GAC take away the Italian’s leaders jersey. Photo: Leopard Trek website

The advantage of the first group to the second was constantly around 2 minutes, which would have meant that Silvestre lost the overall jersey. Blain and Berthou attacked their group and finished together. The first group was 20 seconds down, the group of Silvestre 47 seconds. Baffi: “It’s really too bad. We lost an occasion to get through the day easily, sitting on in the group, but the racing was full gas. We’ll see what we’ll do tomorrow!”


The ‘Scud’ in the White jersey and second overall, Tom Scully (Raleigh-GAC)



1 BLAIN Alexandre Team Raleigh – GAC 3:43:21
2 BERTHOU Eric Team Raleigh – GAC
3 DILLIER Silvan BMC Development Team 0:20
4 NIKOLAEV Sergey Itera – Katusha
5 THOMEL Tino Team NSP – Ghost
6 SCULLY Thomas Team Raleigh – GAC

43 CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh – GAC @ 47
49 LANG Richard Team Raleigh – GAC
62 GRIVELL-MELLOR Luke Rapha Condor
69 CUMING Michael Rapha Condor 2:47
87 HOUSE Kristian Rapha Condor @24.54
102 BUGGLE Aaron Rapha Condor
103 NORRIS Lachlan Team Raleigh – GAC
107 MCLAUGHLIN James Sojasun espoir-ACNC
109 LAVERACK Ed Rapha Condor
DNS HANDLEY Richard Rapha Condor

1 BLAIN Alexandre Team Raleigh – GAC 12:26:17
2 SCULLY Thomas Team Raleigh – GAC 00:13
3 DILLIER Silvan BMC Development Team ,,
4 HANSEN Jesper Team Cult Energy 00:27
5 JAKIN Alo VC Rouen 00:30
6 NIKOLAEV Sergey Itera – Katusha 00:34

30 BERTHOU Eric Team Raleigh – GAC 01:49
58 GRIVELL-MELLOR Luke Rapha Condor 08:19
60 CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh – GAC 08:37
63 LANG Richard Team Raleigh – GAC 09:09
73 CUMING Michael Rapha Condor 17:35
90 NORRIS Lachlan Team Raleigh – GAC 26:32:00
94 MCLAUGHLIN James Sojasun espoir-ACNC 28:38:00
105 HOUSE Kristian Rapha Condor 31:53:00
107 LAVERACK Ed Rapha Condor 32:02:00
116 BUGGLE Aaron Rapha Condor 37:55:00

1. Alex Blain, Raleigh-GAC

Young Rider
1. Tom Scully, Raleigh-GAC


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