Report: Raleigh lose lead in Normandie


The race lead in the Tour de Normandie slipped away from Alex Blain today after a break stayed clear and eluded the chase from Raleigh-GAC but they still have two options for the win over the final two days

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The start of the stage was again a high speed one with lots of attacking from Europcar, Roubaix Lille Métropole, Vendée U Sojasun Hopes to a few. After 35 kilometres, after leaving wide roads unsuited to an escape, a group of 16 riders went clear without a Raleigh rider but including many of the riders beaten by Raleigh the day before.



They worked well while behind Team Raleigh provided the tempo in the peloton and the gap was only allowed to a maximum of 2’45. Having won everything yesterday, the British team wanted to keep its lead in the various classifications but eventually lost almost every one of their jerseys on the final circuit. They didn’t lose hope though!

After 75 km, the second half of the stage was played out on a tough circuit around the finish city. With the gap yoyoing around 1’30, it was ultimately the attack by Dylan Van Baarle (Rabobank Development Team) that saw the peloton explode. The Dutch rider widened the gap on the nine remaining breakaway companions but in the peloton, Anthony Charteau (Team Europcar), the former yellow jersey of the Tour Fabio Silvestre (Leopard Trek CT) and Silvan Dillier (BMC Development Team) chased down what was left of the break.


Tom Scully in the white jersey and Alex Blain in yellow have a chat during the race. Photo:

They made the junction with them all 5 km from the finish and immediately Charteau attacked and brought back the one remaining rider, Dylan Van Baarle (Rabobank Development Team). Charteau went on to win the stage

With two riders 1-2 on the GC, Raleigh-GAC had a tough day chasing a big break and then on a tough hilly circuit, being attacked by the teams in contention. “The boys rode to keep Alex in close contention at the finish” explained the Raleigh-GAC team manager Cherie Pridham.

The finishing circuit was a tough one with two climbs and despite losing the jersey with two stages to go, the manager says “2nd on GC at 7 seconds is not a bad position to be in. There is still two days to go, over 320km to race and the race can change everyday. Alex is in good shape and we have a strong team so we’re happy enough where we are.”


Alex Blain in the Points jersey and just 7 seconds from the win. Photo:

Former leader and also a former winner, Alex Blain is not too downhearted at losing the yellow in his home race on a stage that didn’t suit him with the climbing on the finishing circuit being his worst enemy. He explained  “I managed the hilly stage as well as possible with half bunch attacking me in the last 40k. But, I’m still here in 2nd st seven seconds.”

“GC is still close but a bit more clear after that tough stage. Probably just eight riders can win  Team Raleigh-GAC have two  options (Blain & Tom Scully). I’m still a bit annoyed about the bloody prologue when I started in the rain! Probably lost some crucials seconds on that wet exercise!” Alex refers to the prologue, won by his teammate Tom Scully but where the weather varied for the riders and him having the worst of it.


Team Raleigh-GAC (Lachlan Norris & Richard Lang) on the front of the peloton. Photo:

Press Release- BMC

Silvan Dillier of the BMC Development Team rode into the overall lead at the Tour de Normandie Friday by finishing with a group of 10 others, 23 seconds after Stage 4 winner Anthony Charteau (Team Europcar). With two stages to go, the past Swiss national Under 23 road champion holds a seven-second lead over previous race leader Alexandre Blain (Team Raleigh-GAC).

Having only raced at the GP Lillers earlier this month, Dillier said he was uncertain of his form heading into the week-long French race. But he finished seventh in Sunday’s 3.4 km prologue and was third on Stage 3 Wednesday to move into third overall, 13 seconds off the lead. “I really expected to be in good shape here so now I’m happy it’s going well,” Dillier said.


Alex Blain. Photo:

“For sure, there is a bit of pressure now, but we have to stay cool and do our best and, in the end, we will see what we can do. Tomorrow will be a difficult stage but the whole team will stay together in front.”

On Friday’s 155-kilometer stage, the BMC Development Team led the chase of a breakaway of 16 riders that eventually shattered after reaching the finishing circuit. “We didn’t panic and the guys did a really good job today,” BMC Development Team General Manager Rik Verbrugghe said. “They rode perfectly, as they have since the start of the race.”

Dillier and his small group surged across to the remnants of the escapees in the final kilometers while Alex Blain (Raleigh-GAC) missed the move and finished 20 seconds behind. Only two stages remain, Saturday’s 183 km race from Gouville-sur-Mer to Bagnoles-de-l’Orne and a 137 km race Sunday from Bagnoles-de-l’Orne to Caen.

Former Pink jersey in the Giro, Verbrugghe said the race could come down to bonus seconds available on Saturday. “Tomorrow will be the hardest stage, but the bonifications might make the difference,” he said. “Blain is a strong sprinter and there’s a 10-second bonus on the line and he is only seven seconds behind. But Silvan is also really fast in the sprint, too.”


Luke Grivell-Mellor gets the Eco jersey … 

1. CHARTEAU Anthony Europcar 03:38:35
2. VAN BAARLE Dylan Rabobank Development Team 00:03
3. RENAULT Maxime Sojasun espoir-ACNC 00:23
4. HUREL Tony Europcar
5. DUVAL Julien Roubaix РLille M̩tropole
6. MORTENSEN Martin Team Concordia – Riwal
7. SILVESTRE Fabio Leopard – Trek Continental Team
8. RONNING VINTHER Troels Team Cult Energy
9. LECUISINIER Pierre-Henri Vendée U
10. LUDVIGSSON Fredrik Team People4you – Unaas Cycling
11. DILLIER Silvan BMC Development Team

31. BLAIN Alexandre Team Raleigh – GAC @ 43 secs
35. MCLAUGHLIN James Sojasun espoir-ACNC @ 48 secs
38. HOUSE Kristian Rapha Condor
46. SCULLY Thomas Team Raleigh – GAC @ 59 secs
50. GRIVELL-MELLOR Luke Rapha Condor
56. CUMING Michael Rapha Condor
73. BUGGLE Aaron Rapha Condor @ 3.57
78. NORRIS Lachlan Team Raleigh – GAC @ 4.40
98. LANG Richard Team Raleigh – GAC @19.15
99. CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh – GAC
102. BERTHOU Eric Team Raleigh – GAC
109. LAVERACK Ed Rapha Condor

1. DILLIER Silvan BMC Development Team 16:05:28
2. BLAIN Alexandre Team Raleigh – GAC 00:07
3. VAN BAARLE Dylan Rabobank Development Team 00:10
4. SILVESTRE Fabio Leopard – Trek Continental Team 00:24
5. LUDVIGSSON Fredrik Team People4you – Unaas Cycling 00:31
6. HANSEN Jesper Team Cult Energy 00:34
7. SCULLY Thomas Team Raleigh – GAC 00:36
8. DION Renaud Bretagne- Séché Environnement 00:45
9. HUREL Tony Europcar 00:47
10. OLSSON Michael Team People4you – Unaas Cycling 00:48

52. GRIVELL-MELLOR Luke Rapha Condor 08:42
63. CUMING Michael Rapha Condor 17:58
66. BERTHOU Eric Team Raleigh – GAC 20:28
72. CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh – GAC 27:16
74. LANG Richard Team Raleigh – GAC 27:48
77. MCLAUGHLIN James Sojasun espoir-ACNC 28:50
83. NORRIS Lachlan Team Raleigh – GAC 30:36
87. HOUSE Kristian Rapha Condor 32:05
99. BUGGLE Aaron Rapha Condor 41:16
108. LAVERACK Ed Rapha Condor 50:41

1. BLAIN Alexandre Team Raleigh – GAC 63
2. HUREL Tony Europcar 50
3. MORTENSEN Martin Team Concordia – Riwal 43

1. DILLIER Silvan BMC Development Team 16:05:28
2. VAN BAARLE Dylan Rabobank Development Team 0:10
3. SILVESTRE Fabio Leopard – Trek Continental Team 0:24
6. SCULLY Thomas Team Raleigh – GAC 0:36



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