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Classic Grand Besançon

Biniam Girmay wins the 1st edition of the Classic Grand Besançon

After winning the Tour du Doubs last year thanks to Loïc Vliegen, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux made a triumphant return in the Doubs department on Friday. The Classic Grand Besançon (1.1, 03/09), the first of three one-day races organized in the region, was also in its first edition as a professional event.

The riders led by Frédéric Amorison took responsibility of the pursuit behind the seven breakaways, who escaped shortly after the start in Besançon. Thanks to the intense work provided by Alexander Evans and Jasper De Plus, the gap was kept under control and the fugitives were kept at reasonable distance all day. Jérémy Bellicaud, Maxime Jarnet and Théo Delacroix followed suit as the riders approached the main climb in the final part of the race, the Côte de la Grande Côte (2.7 km at 5.3%).

After catching the break 30 kilometers from the finish, Quintana (Arkéa) launched hostilities in the peloton, followed by Biniam Girmay Hailu. The 21-year-old then found himself in a six-rider group in pursuit of Quintana. Girmay Hailu and three other riders managed to catch the multiple Grand Tours winner and fought for victory at Marchaux, after 172 kilometers. Thanks to an impressive finish, Biniam Girmay Hailu won the first edition of the Classic Grand Besançon, the first in its new colors. Baptiste Planckaert took 15th place.

I'm over the moon with my first victory in a one-day race, my first also on European soil! I saw this first win for the team coming as well, because I felt better and better as the races progressed. Baptiste Planckaert and I could rely on a solid team to support us. We took responsibility of the pursuit and kept the situation under control all day. I was able to tackle the last climb in ideal position. Despite my crash last week in Plouay, I was able to compete with the best riders. Once the junction was made on Quintana, I let my fast legs do the talking until the finish! Tomorrow and Sunday, we will have to compete again with top quality riders such as Quintana, Vendrame or Pinot, but with the confidence and our collective strength, we can be ambitions again!

General Classification


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