During the fifth leg of the Coupe de France, a year-long competition comprised of France’s biggest one-day races, Robin Carpenter won the Challenge des Chateaux trophy after sweeping all six categorized climbs during the 18th edition of La Roue Tourangelle.
The Rally UHC Cycling rider, known for his breakaway prowess, helped power a six-man move that splintered en route to the line in Tours and finished second in a two-up sprint against Belgium’s Lionel Taminiaux (Cycling Team Wallonia-Brussels).
Carpenter’s efforts also helped earn the team the Prix Meilleur Equipe (Best Team) Competition victory.
“I’m happy with second but I am also annoyed because I made a similar mistake in KOGA Slag om Norg last year,” said Carpenter. “I’m not satisfied with myself. On the other hand, that’s racing. I had to show my hand in order for the break to stick.
Carpenter is a familiar face in any breakaway and often finds success with open road in front of him.
“It felt good to go in the break,” said Carpenter. “That’s my happy place at these races and pretty much any race. It’s calm, and you can just focus on doing what you need to do. Plus, I like the poker game.”
Performance director Jonas Carney echoed Carpenter’s thoughts on how the breakaway held off a motivated peloton filled with France’s top sprinters.
“The course was very technical,” said Carney. “You can only go so fast on roads like that. The break worked well together all day and Robin rode like a freaking monster. Once the gap reached seven minutes I knew there was a good chance it would stick.”
The team is at the beginning of their second European campaign of 2019 and are approaching the heart of the international cycling calendar.
“We are only one and a half weeks into this European block and the guys have already produced some really nice results,” said Carney. “Hopefully we can keep building momentum headed into Turkey, Fleche, and Yorkshire.”
La Roue Tourangelle results – 186 km
1 TAMINIAUX Lionel Wallonie Bruxelles 04:23:35
2 CARPENTER Robin Rally UHC Cycling MT
3 SARREAU Marc Groupama – Fdj 12
4 BOUDAT Thomas Direct Energie MT
5 BOUHANNI Nacer Cofidis, Solutions Credits MT
6 COQUARD Bryan Vital Concept – B&B Hotels 14
7 PLANCKAERT Baptiste Wallonie Bruxelles MT
8 DUMOULIN Samuel Ag2r La Mondiale MT
9 RUSSO Clément Team Arkea – Samsic MT
10 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel – Auber 93 MT
CHALLENGE DES CH TEAUX
1 CARPENTER Robin USA RLY 30
2 THIERY Cyrille SUI SRA 15
3 TAMINIAUX Lionel BEL WVA 4
4 SPREAFICO Matteo ITA ANS 4
5 COQUARD Bryan FRA VCB 1
Prix Meilleur Equipe (Best Team) Competition
1 Rally UHC Cycling