Robin Carpenter was his usual breakaway animating self at the Eurométropole Tour on Wednesday. The Tour of Britain stage winner went up the road in an early breakaway and claimed points over a quick succession of five climbs to win the KOM competition.
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A wind-swept finale in Belgium kept everyone guessing who would compete in the bunch sprint but it was Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick Step) who took the victory in Tournai.
Arguably Carpenter’s most impressive display in the break came when he took maximum points over the semi-cobbled Mont-Saint-Laurent climb.
The initial plan was for Carpenter and Adam de Vos to go up the road together but the peloton made it difficult for even a small group to break away. “Once I felt the wind out front I realised there wasn’t a chance of making it to the finish, so I made sure to get something out the day,” Carpenter said after the finish.
“I felt good so taking the KOM points wasn’t too tricky. Chernetski (Gazprom Rus – Velo) kept me honest but I had an extra gear.”
This fall calendar has taken the Philadelphia rider all over northern Europe, so what has been different about racing in Belgium?
“Besides cobbles these were probably the roughest roads I’ve ever raced on in the country,” Carpenter said of the road surfaces.
The team will close out the season with a succession of races in France and Carpenter wants to end an already successful racing block on a high. “We want to make the most of it. Paris-Bourges didn’t go to plan for us two years ago so it would be nice to improve on our performance.”
You will be able to watch the Classic Loire-Atlantique on October 2 on GCN+ and the Eurosport Player.