Video: Career-best result for Townsend in big company in France

Posted on: March 30th, 2019
Ireland’s Rory Townsend, far left, finishes in France for the best result of his career to date. He got clear in the breakaway and while it was caught by some riders late in the day, Townsend still finished on the podium (Photos by Benedicte Front)

Rory Townsend has taken the biggest result of his career today with 3rd place in France in the one-day Classic Loire Atlantique (1.1).

In the 182.8km race starting and finished in La Haye-Fouassière, a breakaway got clear and just about made it all the way.

Indeed, the finish was so close that the escapees were almost caught on the line by the bunch. A number of men also jumped across to the leaders in the closing stages.

French rider Rudy Barbier (Israel Cycling Academy) proved fastest and took the win from WorldTour man Marc Sarreau (Groupama – FDJ).

Then came Townsend, who rides from the UK-based Continental team Canyon dh p/b Bloor Homes.

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Townsend (23) is in his fourth season riding for Continental teams. And while he has won races in Britain, today’s result was the best of his career considering the opposition.

He had gone clear very early in the race with a group that included Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Julien Antomarchi (Natura4Ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole ) and Gianni Machand (Cibel-Cebon).

And while the group swelled in the closing kilometres, after a concerted effort by Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ saw the gap tumble from a maximum of three minutes, Townsend still had the legs to take a podium placing.

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Rory Townsend drives the break forward on a day when the escapees were too strong and the peloton got its timing wrong.

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