Černý started the day in white as race leader but with just one second separating him from Démare the race was far from over and after an intense race to the first intermediate sprint of the 164.6-kilometer final stage, it was the French sprinter who took maximum bonus seconds and moved into the virtual race lead.
From there, the peloton sat up and allowed a five rider breakaway, which included CCC Team’s Guillaume Van Keirsbulck to go clear and open up an advantage that reached a maximum of almost four minutes before the peloton started to pick up the pace behind them.
Van Keirsbulck and his fellow escapees were able to hold off the chasing bunch until the final kilometers of the race with the last rider caught just after the flamme rouge before the previously predicted bunch sprint finish that favored Démare.
Černý and Rosskopf also stepped onto the podium alongside the rest of their teammates with CCC Team taking the win in the race’s Team Classification following four solid days of racing and a dominant performance during the time trial yesterday afternoon.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“We knew it would be difficult to keep the jersey today but I think, overall, we did a nice job as a team this week especially on yesterday’s time trial and then finishing second and third on the GC today. I am really happy that we got some good results here and it was nice to show how strong we are. We also won the team classification and that is a testament to all of us here. I was working hard in the ‘off-season’ this summer and it’s nice to see my hard work has paid off and I am definitely leaving this race with more confidence. We also now have a couple of nice wins with me and Jakub in Hungary today, congratulations to everyone there, and hopefully, we can continue building on that moving forward this season.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“I am happy with our results at this race. We finished second and third overall and also took home the team classification which was nice. Today, we had a bit of a plan but unfortunately, we had to sprint again Démare, one of the best sprinters in the world right now, so it was going to be difficult for us and Černý to hold onto the jersey at the end of the day.”
“We tried at the first intermediate sprint but Démare took three bonus seconds there so he was already the virtual leader. We then send Guillaume up the road with the attack and put the pressure on others instead of on ourselves. In the final, we wanted to try an attack with Joey on the final lap and Barta was leading out Josef onto the small climb around one kilometer or so from the finish. We had some bad luck with Joey needing a bike change after a crash in the final two kilometers so we didn’t have the chance to do something. However, I am happy with the experience the guys gained here and it will be good for the next race and for their motivation.”
Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Stage 5: Thénezay > Poitiers (164.6km)
Top 3: 1. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) 2. Ivan García Cortina (Bahrain – McLaren) 3. Alexander Krieger (Alpecin – Fenix)
CCC Team Top 3: 15. Josef Černý 31. Szymon Sajnok 36. Gijs Van Hoecke
Top 3 on GC: 1. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) 2. Josef Černý (CCC Team) 3. Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team)
CCC Team Top 3 on GC: 2. Josef Černý 3. Joey Rosskopf 11. Will Barta