GP Ouest France-Plouay results
UCI WorldTour Rankings
As the World Championships in Florence looms ever closer, Italian Classics star Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) showed rising form with a stunning victory in Sundayâs GP Ouest France-Plouay.
In a mass dash for the line, Pozzato outgunned Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) for his third win of 2013 and, after the Coppa Agostini, his second one-day victory in two weeks.
As usual in the 243 kilometre, fast-moving and hilly French Classic, the attacks came thick and fast throughout. But after Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was reeled in close to the finish, Pozzato was waiting in the wings to outpower the rest of the field. And with an all-out surge for the line, Pozzato claimed his most important win of 2013.
âItâs a very important victory for me,â Pozzato, whose previous best two results in the French Classic were fourth in 2007 and sixth in 2006, said afterwards.
âIâve had a lot of problems this year with a virus, I never really could hit good form and it was difficult to understand why. Now the virus has gone, and Iâm in good form for the end of the season.â
âThis victory puts me on track for a great World Championships, even if the course doesnât really suit me that well.â
Pozzato made a huge gain overall in the UCI WorldTour rankings, jumping from 169th to 52ndÂ - a reflection on how difficult his first half of the season had been for the 31-year-old Italian. Meanwhile overallÂ Christopher Froome (Sky ProCycling) continues to lead with 587 points over Peter Sagan (Cannondale) with 409 and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) with 390. There are no changes in the top 30 overall.
The top of the nations ranking proved to be similarly stable, with Spain still leading by 1,282 points and closest pursuer Colombiaâs total of 1,001 also unchanged. Belgium, in fact, were the only mover in the top ten, displacing the Czech Republic from the eighth place overall. Meanwhile, Italy remain in fourth but their new total of 781 points means they have reduced the advantage of third-placed Great Britain, who have 985 points.
The UCIWorldTour teams classification has seen the most changes, as Danilo Bennatiâs fifth place behind Pozzato in the bunch sprint helped his Saxo-Tinkoff squad gain a spot and move into fourth in the overall classification. The Danish team are now five points ahead of Omega Pharma - Quick-Step. The other big mover was AG2R La Mondiale, who advanced from tenth overall to eighth. Neither classification leaders Sky ProCycling, with 1,411 points, nor second-placed Movistar, with 1,115, gained points. But the Vuelta a EspaÃ±a and two UCIWorldTour one-day race in Canada, the Grand Prix Cycliste de QuÃ©bec and Grand Prix Cycliste de MontreÃ¡l - the next events in cyclingâs top league to be completed - could well see that change.