Team News: AG2R Citroen U19

Bad luck strikes the British riders in the Classique des Alpes Juniors racing for Ag2R Citroen Under 19 junior team – Report from Benjamin Peatfield

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Team News: AG2R Citroen U19

Riders from AG2R CITROËN U19 TEAM gave it their all on Saturday during the Classique des Alpes Juniors, the first round of the Coupe de France Juniors. They tried several times during the race to get in the move but it was Cian Uijtdebroeks (Team Auto Eder), one of the favorites, who took the win. Robin Donzé was the first rider for the AG2R Citroen U19 team to cross the line in 11th.

British rider on the team Benjamin Peatfield was very active in the first hour of the race and the above picture  shows him splitting the peloton into four groups on a flat section 10km into the race

Early doors, a breakaway of six then eight riders quickly opened up a good advantage. None of the AG2R Citroen U19 made the move so Britain’s Benjamin Peatfield took his place at the front of the peloton after 50km in order to be ready for the beginning of the Mont Tournier at km 54. Bad luck then struck with a lot of crashes in the peloton which affected the three British riders (Benjamin Peatfield, Joe Kiely, Maximilian Cushway).

Asked about the race, Benjamin explains “The race was very cagey at the start and there were many crashes etc, meaning it was essential to be towards the front of the peloton. We could never have imagined the plan of Team Auto Eder who eventually dominated the race so by sticking to our team’s plan, we let the break go up the road with two Auto-eder riders present and no one from our team. This was our first and potentially most crucial mistake but we had never imagined a breakaway of that calibre to get up the road just 15km into the race. Along with most other teams, we had planned the most crucial place to attack at the 50km mark but it turned out to be too late.”

A mistake it may have been not to be in the breakaway but that didn’t mean Benjamin didn’t try and get in the move. “I was the breakaway man but also road captain and there to protect our climbers during the flatter sections etc and bring them into the right places at the right time. I did a good job of the latter part of my role but unfortunately failed to make the days breakaway.”

“I was active at the start of the race, but was heavily marked for whatever reason. I guess that comes with the calibre of my team and my kit. Eventually I ended up getting counter attacked by an Auto Eder rider and was unable to follow. That break quickly pulled out a big advantage and was at four minutes before the first climb. From here on in I switched my head to the role of road captain and working for my team.

Benjamin explained his job early on, besides trying to get in the breakaway, was neutralising dangerous attacks once the main breakaway was already up the road and just looking after his teammates.

Racing also requires some luck and that deserted the Brits in his team on the day as all three of them were involved in a crash. “Luckily for the other two, it was in a less crucial part of the race but either way, they spent a lot of their valuable resources getting back into the group which eventually damaged their results. I crashed at the foot of the the Col du Mont Tournier (the first main climb of the day). After a mechanical, I had managed to get myself back into the front quarter of the peloton but as we exited the final corner before the climb, we were greeted by an un-signalled parked car that me and a lot of others rode into the back of”.

That was the end of Ben’s race as he explains.  “Not finishing was kind of a mix of both (the parcour and the crash) really. Luckily, in the crash, the car came worse off than me and I was left with a little bit of road rash on my elbow and some muscle damage after having my leg ridden over. But due to the time lost in the crash and then having to ride big ring until I was able to change bikes, I was way too far down to ever regain contact on a course that didn’t suit me to start with. I continued to ride until the foot of the Mont du Chat where I was picked up by the team staff and went to encourage the team at the finish”.

Among the climbers of the team, three were still in the race: Abel Odon Rosado Novillo, Robin Donzé and Viggo Moore. They were in the first group at the top of the Mont Tournier. Viggo, the American rider, was leading before the Mont du Chat but it wasn’t enough. Robin Donzé gave his all on the Mont du Chat and arrived in the group battling for 6th place. He finished 11th. Abel Odon Rosado Novillo was 26th, Maximilian Cushway 29th, Joe Kiely 59th and Viggo Moore 62th.

His team’s next race is in Italy, Valli Del Soligo, on June the 19th and 20th, with a TTT of 17.6km on Saturday and a road race of 134.7km on Sunday. All being well, Ben and his teammate Max should be attending XXVI BIZKAIKO ITZULIA in Spain at the start of July.


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK