gravels canceled at the last minute in Plouay!

At the request of some teams and some riders, who carried out the reconnaissance part of Sunday’s race in Plouay, and following a decision by the UCI (International Cycling Union), the two ribbons (otherwise called gravel, or road stones) set for. Sunday’s Bretagne Classic Ouest-France has been cancelled.

The anger of the organizers

The organizers had to change the route at the last minute. Jean-Yves Tranvaux, one of the kingpins of the Plouaysian race, did not hide his disappointment this Saturday afternoon: The UCI has banned the taking of two ribbons tomorrow. The course of the disaster must be changed. I’m bored. I want to go to the starting line tomorrow and say the race is cancelled.
Two gravel races are planned this Sunday in Plouay. The first, located 80 km from the finish and 1.5 km long, and the second, 50 km from the finish with percentages up to 15%.

Runners are not very hot

This week, several runners were interviewed by Western France expressing themselves on the subject, the ribbons have been an important element of Plouay for several years, to increase the race.

Warren Barguil is against: I went to get to know them. I was divided. I don’t know if that helps. I think that in Brittany, there is a way to do without the ribbons and that the riders are happier. There is a rather high and rather dangerous sector, the other is on a false descent, so you have to be careful. And it’s also for the equipment of the teams… If only to return to the bumps, it canyou Skipping ribbons and doing back roads is just as good. »

Same story with Benoît Cosnefroy, outgoing winner: “The ribbons? I am not a big fan of this type of course. Last year, it favored me because I was able to place. On the one hand, it intensifies the race, but on the other hand, we know very well that we will not all be placed at the entrance of the sector. This year, they will be even more critical. There is a random part. And reshuffle the cards in a race because of a spike, I’m not a big fan of the idea. In Brittany, there are many difficult courses to make the difference without having to set paths. »

With David Gaudu: “You have to separate things from paths. It depends on where they are placed, in what state they are. There are races like the Strade Bianche, the Tro Bro Léon with the DNA of the trails. Some events want to add ribbons and that’s what worries me the most. We set that limit so that there are leaders who die on the tracks. »

“In previous years, the race was played there every time”

Damien Chemillé, organizer of the event, told him at the beginning of the week: In the three editions where we put on gravel, the race was played almost every time […] When we didn’t place anything, when Matthews won and Viviani, there were no gravels, it was the sprint finishes where almost nothing happened in the race. In TV ratings, you immediately see the difference when it’s a live race.

But the organizers had to lower the flag. Now it remains to be seen what the changes in the route will be and if the race will lose its flavor and scenery without the rocky paths. Last year, the winner Cosnefroy and his runner-up Alaphilippe were actually leading one of the gravels, in the heart of an excellent edition.

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