Mads Pedersen wins Stage 1 of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe - Pays de la Loire

Mads Pedersen wins Stage 1 of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe - Pays de la Loire

05.04.2022: A Mads win in France For Mads Pedersen, the best recovery is victory. Only one day separated the punishing Tour of Flanders and the start of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire. Mads Pedersen had no time to think about rest.

 
A Mads win in France



 
For Mads Pedersen, the best recovery is victory. Only one day separated the punishing Tour of Flanders and the start of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire. Mads Pedersen had no time to think about rest.



Instead, he caught a flight to France and, less than 48 hours later, continued where he left off in Belgium. After an aggressive race in Flanders Sunday that landed him a reputable 8th place, he was on the attack again Tuesday and, this time, sprinted to the win.



"Since the start of the season, it was in my plan to race this after Flanders. My coach thought it was a good idea, and I agreed. This way, I get to do more racing and then just have one training block afterward before Roubaix," explained Mads. "It was a hard and long day, and the weather was not super nice. It was not easy [in the break] as we did not have a lot of time."



Alexander Kamp started the day on the right foot for Trek-Segafredo when he found the successful breakaway. It was a smart move with the Team starting only five men and leaving any chasing to those who missed the boat.



However, a counter move was not in the plan at the start of the local circuits, and Mads was caught, well, with his pants down.



"Me and Alex Kirsch had just stopped for a pee, and we were at the back of the peloton when we saw they went in the front. I had to move up slowly, then I jumped across," Mads said.



A composed Mads worked his way into the chase group that eventually joined the day's early breakaway.



Mads explained: "In the beginning, I was turning a little bit but not too hard because we had Kamp in the front, and I wanted him to stay in front until the bonus seconds. When we caught them, from then on, it was hard racing all the way. The peloton was chasing us hard from behind and didn't give us much time and that made it tough."



With many threatening riders in the leading group, it took a total concerted effort to hold off the peloton. Both Kamp and Pedersen put immense efforts into helping the breakaway maintain a lead.



At the start of the final lap with 16 kilometers remaining, the advantage swelled to 1 minute and 20 seconds. It was the largest it had been and tilted the tables in favor of the leaders.



However, the peloton's frantic effort brought their lead to within 30 seconds with 10 kilometers to go.



"At one point, we had 1 minute and 20 seconds, and some guys stopped working, and it went down to 30 seconds," continued Mads. "People tried to attack, and Kamp covered them really well."



It was as close as the bunch would come. The leading group hit the mostly downhill roads to the line, finding the last momentum they needed.



A feisty Mads attacked with 2 kilometers to go, and when he was caught back, he played the downhill finish perfectly.



"With 2kms to go I was thinking I could go on the attack instead and make the others chase. Luke Plapp from Ineos didn't give me a very long leash though. I got back to the group with 1.5 kms to go and recovered a bit for the sprint," said Mads.



"The last guy attacked before the final corner with 700 meters to go and I had to close it. In that situation there's nothing else you can do but ride hard and hope for the best. I still believed in my sprint, even If I had to spend energy closing the gap, I thought I could still win. It was hard, but I managed to close him in time, take a few breaths, and then go for the sprint."



It was typical Mads. After he put in a considerable effort to keep the breakaway ahead, won the intermediate sprint for the bonus seconds, laid down a late attack and was caught back 1500 meters from the line, he then chased the next counter.


For most, that would spell the end. But not Mads. He then out-sprinted his breakaway companions for the win.



Mads gained three valuable seconds with the green points jersey, and will wear the leader's yellow jersey into Stage 2.  



“Of course, we will try and defend the yellow jersey," he ended. Then added: "I think this was the hardest stage of them all."




Trek Segafredo


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mads-pedersen-wins-s1-circuit-cyliste-sarthe-pays-loire---235922.html

05.04.2022 / MaP

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