THE SEVENTH AND final stage of the Tour de Bretagne was won yesterday by Andrew Fenn of the An Post-Sean Kelly team.
The young British rider won the bunch sprint finish into Loudéac to take the first professional victory of his fledgling career.
Fenn had indicated previously in the week-long stage race that he was in good form having placed second, fifth and sixth on separate stages. The current British U-23 champion finally got the win his persistence deserved beating Morgan Kneisky (Roubaix Lille Metropole) and Jetse Bol (Rabobank Continental) into second and third-place respectively. Bol had already won two stages in this year’s edition of the race and had won a stage in last year’s race also.
The race was won overall by Hungarian national champion Peter Kusztor (Atlas Personal). Andrew Fenn finished the race in 14th place in the general classification and also ended up in second place in the sprints classification finishing just behind Jetse Bol.
Over the years, the Tour de Bretagne has been an indicator of emerging young talent. There have been many riders who have finished on the podium in this race and have gone on to be very successful cyclists.
Erik Breukink finished third in 1985 and went on to finish on the podium of the Tour de France just five years later. Pascal Lino, wearer of the Maillot Jaune for ten days in 1992, finished second here in 1987. Evgeni Berzin won this race in 1992 and subsequently won the Giro d’Italia in 1994.
A Paris-Roubaix winner has also finished on the podium in the Tour de Bretagne as Frederic Guesdon took third place back in 1993. Recent young cyclists to have seen success in the Tour de Bretagne include Lars Boom, Edvald Boasson Hagen and John Degenkolb.
Fenn, a winner of the U-23 Paris-Roubiax, was taking a break from An Post-Sean Kelly team duty as he was making up part of a six-man Great British team. His form will be of a great boost to the An Post squad as the team’s two biggest goals for the season draw ever closer, the An Post Rás and the Tour of Belgium.
The An Post-Sean Kelly team are only due to take part in two more races before the An Post Rás gets underway on Sunday, 22 May. They will race the Ronde van Overijssel in the Netherlands on 7 May and the Circuit de Wallonie in Belgium the following day, both one-day races.