A local race that I watch during my stay in Brittany was the Montfort round of the Trophées de Brocéliande series on Saturday 2nd July.
It was the final of a regional series for 3rd category racers affiliated to the FFC – France’s equivalent to British Cycling. Juniors will also be competing. I gather FFC racers start at cat.3- the racing was pretty fast and competitive, and as a BC Cat.4, I wouldn’t expect to last the pace.
The race was run over 16 or 17 laps of a 6km course, that passes through the town of Montfort-sur-Meu. The start/finish passes the local junior school, the course was flattish, with one long very gradual drag.
Starting at 6pm on a Saturday gave some good opportunities for spectating, and the short lap with start/finish in a town or village is a thing that race organisers and commentators in Scotland have been thinking about over the past couple of years.
The start/finish was through the town, with a short section of closed road but the rest was rolling roadblock like in Scotland, but the riders were on the left and right side- none of this ‘don’t cross the white line’ nonsense! It was essentially a 4-turn loop, but all left turns (ie equivalent to right turns at home) and the marshalls had some bumper/barrier things set up, and would make cars wait until the race had past, if the bunch was nearby.
100 riders took part and there were less than 50 remaining at the end. A break of 12 got away after 6 laps, and the winner came from these. It all blew to bits with about 3 laps to go, and was looking pretty sore for the riders still within a shout. The guy who won came across solo with a 20s advantage. 2nd man was also solo, and there was a hard-fought sprint from a small group for the final podium spot.
more images to follow-