Dowsett takes stage, Sergent seals win
Britain’s Alex Dowsett rode to his first professional victory in the final stage of the Tour du Poitou Charentes, while Team RadioShack rider Jesse Sergent was crowned as the overall champion.
In the final stage, a 171.4km route known as the Saint-Jacques de Thouars, Team Sky took the advantage – through riders Dowsett, Greg Henderson, Jeremy Hunt and Mick Rogers – to lead out the sprint into Poitiers. Their high speed riding cause a split in the peloton inside the final 10km.
Dowsett held a six second advantage going into the final three kilometres and attacked from the head, crossing the line ahead of the sprint which was won by team-mate and former race leader Davide Appollonio.
Team RadioShack’s New Zealand rider Sergent finished safely in the first peloton, crossing the line in 36th place to seal his second stage-race victory after an earlier win in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.
Sergent’s fellow Shack rider, Michael Kwiatkowski, completed the overall podium.
A visibly ecstatic Sergent said: “What an incredible day. “When I flatted at 15 kilometres from the finish, everything looked over as the peloton was split in different parts at that moment and the team car was too far behind.
“Many thanks to Yaroslav Popovych who gave me his wheel. With the support of Robbie Hunter and Sam Bewley who rode themselves ‘empty’ we managed to come back.”
“I am especially glad that it all worked out as the team worked so hard. This was one of the fastest stages of this Tour and racing in France is always pretty tough.”