Tro Bro Leon, Sunday
It has always been a special race in the Breton calendar. This year, the Tro Bro Leon should still be unmissable. Since last year, the Finistère race has changed in dimension. “We went to ProSérie, we were a Class 1 race before,” explains Jean-Paul Mellouët, the organizer.
A new classification identical to that of the Grand Prix du Morbihan, which takes place this Saturday, and which now has above it only the Bretagne Classic, classified WorldTour. “With this transition to ProSérie, a victory in the Tro Bro Leon now earns the winner 200 UCI points, which is equivalent to a 10th place in the Tour de France, continues Jean-Paul Mellouët. With the reform of the WorldTour in 2023, these points will be important. “Because at the end of the season, only the 18 best teams in total points over the period 2020-2022 will be classified WorldTour in 2023.
Enough to attract the big teams on the circuit to Lannilis, even more numerous than last year. Sunday, they will be six classified WorldTour, therefore among the best in the world: Intermarché-Wanty Gobert, Cofidis, Lotto-Soudal, Groupama-FDJ, AG2R-Citroën and, above all, UAE Team Emirates, the formation of the double winner of the Tour de France Tadej Pogacar! “The change of date (since 2021) is also beneficial for the Tro Bro Leon, points out Yvon Caër, sports director of Arkéa-Samsic training. Before, there was competition from the Amstel Gold Race. From now on, there is only the Giro, whose profile is different, and few races around it. »
“I’m very happy to have won it last year”
If the Slovenian champion will not be present in Brittany, the candidates for victory are (very) numerous. “There are about twenty runners to be able to win, we have never had such a dense field,” said Mellouët. Without a big star, like Philippe Gilbert last year, the 2022 vintage will see the presence of Pascal Ackerman, Alexy Brunel (UAE), Victor Campenaerts, Florian Vermeersch, second in Paris-Roubaix in 2021 (Lotto-Soudal), Clément Venturini, Damien Touzé, Marc Sarreau (AG2R-Citroën), Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), Mathieu Ladagnous, Jake Stewart, Eddy Le Huitouze, Fabian Lienhard (Groupama-FDJ), Baptiste Planckaert, Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), 83 wins at the pros including two Monuments, the Tour of Flanders and Milan – Sanremo?, Anthony Turgis and Nikki Terpstra (TotalEnergies), former winner of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
Connor Swift, the defending champion of the Breton formation Arkéa-Samsic, will also be back, with Hugo Hofstetter, Laurent Pichon and Clément Russo. “Connor has a particular affect with this race, observes Yvon Caër. It’s a race that speaks to us, in which we have shown that we know how to do it. But I’m very happy to have won it last year, because it’s going to be harder and harder! »
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