Some race reports from Dylan Spiby from France.29/4 prix du Dissay
With 102 starters on a 10x15km coarse with two 1km climbs and the rest of the coarse being flat narrow rough roads with really strong crosswinds, the coarse was pretty sketchy to say the least. From the start the pace was on with half the bunch dropped within the first three laps due to the pace over the climbs and crosswind sections at this point a break of about 25 formed up the road with me and a team mate Arnaud in the peloton, the break sat about 30 seconds from us as we attacked to go across together and catching the break within the next few kms. The next lap another group formed up the road with 7 riders, Arnaud and I worked together for the next lap to try to bring them back but Arnaud was very tired and the break got out to a minute gap. At this point I attacked and caught the break on the next lap over the climb. By the time I had caught the break on the 8th lap the group was down to five riders. Within the same lap one rider attacked over the next climb and I followed with one of his team mates on my wheel over the next two laps they attacked me until one of them finally got away. And in the sprint for second I managed to just get over the other rider.
6/5 8e Ronde Vouglaisienne tour
With 110 starters the opening stage a 14 km tt was to be pretty competitive with only 40 seconds separating the top 30 managed to get 14th
And in the road race in the afternoon attacked in the opening 15km on a flat cross wind road in the 120km stage getting into a break of six which got caught 50km into the race but instead of going back to the peleton attacked again forming a small group of three which managed to stay away for the next 40km before being caught by another group of three as we entered a hilly finishing circuit which dropped two of the riders from the break on the first lap of five. The now group of three had the current u23 leader of the tour and second overall. We continued as the gap to the peleton steadily increased and on the final lap of the circuit the u23 leader attacked as the other rider sat on my wheel. The u23 rider won the race and the tour and I lost the sprint for second but still managed to get third on gc.
8/5 La Rochelle liberation
A big race on one of France's most important days with 160 starters for a 130km flat windy tight rough roads. In the first 20km a small break of five got away and gradually increased in size as the race continued. As my team mates went across the break I was forced to wait until it was safe to go across the gap without any riders following. At the 70km mark the break had 30 riders and the gap was two minutes back to me, due to the small roads and strong winds the peleton was also about half of it's original size and was very tired. I found this a good time to attack but with out knowing what was ahead of me, it took 25km to go across the gap and I was very lucky that Ludovic and Arnaud saw me on the back of the bunch hanging and looked after me for the next few km. The break continued with many attacks coming into the final 20km where we hit a tight flat fast 2pm hot dog finishing circuit. With a break of four getting away on the coarse and sitting at ten seconds at 2 laps to go. I attacked going across the gap and instead of sitting up went straight past them and managed to get away from them. Managing to get away to the finish and pull an Aussie flag out of the back pocket for the victory salute.
12-13/5 Boucles nationales du printemps 180 starters
The first stage started with 60km of crosswind followed by a 40km mountain section with four climbs followed by another 50km of crosswind don't think I have ever ridden sideways so fast. Within the first 20km the bunch had split into five pieces, with me and three teammates in the second group that only just caught the front bunch before the first climb of the day. This group then split again into another five groups over the next few climbs with very strong team mates Mikeal and Ludovic in the first group of ten and me and Aaron in the next group of twenty we shut down the bunch to make sure our team mates got away. With both riders getting top tens in the finish and me and Aaron in the top thirty.
The next stage was a 18km team time trial with only three riders needing to finish we had a very strong start from Emelien and Fabian who then finished behind us. With Aaron doing some massive turns on the front and us three hanging on for dear life and giving him a rest when we could. We ended up being the 6th team over the line. But from all of the teams work especially Aarons I moved to the first of catagorie and into the leaders blue jersey.
The last stage that afternoon was 110km with 70km of flat racing with plenty of cross wind finishing on a 10km circuit with a steep 2km followed by more crosswind. On the road a break sat at around 1minute for most of the day with the leaders team pacing the bunch. There was plenty of attacks causing the bunch to split many times in crosswinds and coming onto the finishing circuit the peleton imploded as the break got brought back and attacks went. With my team protecting me I was safe and managed to come in the front bunch and finish 17th on the last day winning my catagorie thanks to the work of my team keeping me up the front and protecting me.