Monday, 11 May 2015

Brandon McNulty won 44th edition of Course de la Paix. His teammate, Adrien Costa finished second and Russian rider Nikolai Ilichev finished third. Race winner also won points classification while Costa won the climbers jersey. French rider Alan Riou won green jersey for the intermediate sprints.

Final podium: Costa, McNulty, Ilichev (photo: Patress.cz)

Americans sealed their victory on the Saturdays queen stage to German town Zinwald. Riders had to tackle difficult climb to Komáří Vížka twice and it was a crucial stage in terms of the GC. Strong American team already splitted the bunch on the first ascent and group of around twenty riders managed to pass the climb together in front. During the second climb no one was able to climb as fast as Costa and McNulty and the duo reached Zinnwald with over 1:30 gap over the next rider, which was Nikolai Ilichev. Adrien Costa won the stage and McNulty sealed his overal victory.

Americans celebrates amazing win in Zinnwald (photo: Patress.cz)


The final stage around Terezin ended with a successfull breakaway. Danish rider Rasmus Lund Pedersen won ahead of Kazakh Vadim Pronskiy. Leo Appelt from Germany brought the peleton 15 seconds behind the winner. McNulty finished safely in the bunch.


Rasmus Lund Pedersen wins solo in Terezin (photo: Patress.cz)

Results

 


I have to say I'm surprised by Brandon McNulty's win. While I'm familiar with his impressive results on US domestic scene and a few wins he scored last year in Belgium as a cadet I wasn't expecting him to be that good in the biggest junior race in the calendar especially that is was the first race in uci race in his career! Both his time trial and climbing level was impressive. Especially in time trial where he managed to beat his teammate Costa was outstanding. And above all, McNulty is first year junior so he has 1,5 years more to score more of these impressive results in his current age category and I'm sure he will.

Adrien Costa finished second and it's hard to say he has lost anything in Czech's race as he was beaten only by his teammate. Young climber proved to be one of the strongest riders in junior category both in time trial and climbs especially with his outstanding run in Zinwald stage where he managed (together with McNulty) to put over a minute gap to the rest of the peleton and caused splits and gaps that we have never seen on this stage before. He done the same last year in Tour du Pays de Vaud queen stage and he will probably do the same this year.

Russian team had a great race in general despite missing their main GC contender Pavel Sivakov.  Ilichev finished third in GC while both Rostovtcev and Kulikovskiy managed to grab a stage win proving to be one of the strongest juniors in pure sprints (Rostovtcev) and also the more difficult ones (Kulikovskiy). It's a strong indication that Russian team is, as always, very well prepared to the season and in the next Nations Cup races they will be in front as well.

Also worth a notice is Tobias Foss who was one of the pre race favorite and proved that he's the no.1 in Norway team for GC in difficult races like Course de la Paix. Last year he was seventh, this time he was just off the podium. 


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