Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) won the GP Isbergues by out-sprinting his early breakaway companion, Pierre Goualt (HP BPT – Auber 93). 3rd place went to Alan Riou (Fortuneo – Oscaro).
The 200km GP Isbergues looked set to be a race for the sprinters but that didn’t stop 5 riders going on the attack early on. The attackers were able to build their lead up to 4-minutes before Cofidis started to control the gap. Our African Team also committed Adrien Niyonshuti to the chase along with riders from FDJ, Direct Energie and Delko-Marseille.
The gap came down steadily and with 40km to go the peloton seemed to have things under control as the lead group had just 2-minutes. The quintet had obviously kept something in the tank though and they were able to up their pace over the final quarter of the race.
With 10km to go and the gap was still just over a minute. Cosnefroy and Goualt then attacked and managed to gap the other 3 riders. Our African Team was preparing the sprint for Mark Cavendish back in the peloton but unfortunately it would not be for the win. The leading duo was able to hold their advantage to the line with Cosnefroy winning the sprint. The peloton charged in just 7 seconds later but they were only sprinting for 5th place in the end. Cavendish was 2nd from the peloton giving him 6th in the race.
JP Heynderickx – Sports Director
It was disappointing to not be able to contest for the win today. The break was clearly quite strong and it wasn’t possible to bring them back in the end. We have a good positive to take from the race though with Mark Cavendish being in the mix for a sprint again. It is encouraging signs for us as a team to see his condition is only getting better.