Up there on the list of ‘cult’ races is the GP Plouay, now known as the Bretagne Classic Ouest France; not a race that’s high in the cycling public’s consciousness outside of Brittany but always hard fought on a tough parcours by a quality field since 1931. This year the winner was Belgian hard man Oliver Naesen (AG2R) who shrugged off the rain and took the laurels.
Chris Froome lost more time to race leader Joaquim Rodriguez in today's stage from Lleida, all in the final 500 metres, as Alejandro Valverde and JR jumped clear of him and chased after Alberto Contador, who had got a gap of 100 metres over the three, with just a kilometre to go.
We slept like logs last night - maybe it was the fact that we were emotionally drained or maybe it was the grappa we had for a nightcap? We stayed in Cecina, on the Ligurian Sea, roughly half way between the Stage 4 finish in Ligorno and the stage 5 start today in Piombino. The season hasn't started yet on the Ligurian, it kicks off in June; over on the east coast the Adriatic season has already begun and they'll be out there on their sun loungers as I write this.