Having won every stage so far, all eyes were on Mads Pedersen to see if he could take a clean sweep at Tour de la Provence. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be in the end, however Lidl-Trek leave the race with hands full after claiming the overall victory, three stages and the points classification.
After battling torrential rain for the last two stages, now it was time to fight with the wind (but at least it was dry!) The peloton split as it was buffeted by the wind, leaving 26 in front – a combination of the early breakaway and those who found their way into the front split. Lidl-Trek’s remaining five riders were all present in the lead group, after Ryan Gibbons was unable to start due to illness, and Julien Bernard stopped the race after fulfilling his duties. Eventually, it came down to a sprint finish in Arles, and forced to go early, Mads Pedersen was passed before the line, finishing fifth with Van Asbroeck (Israel Premier Tech) taking the win. Whilst a clean sweep would have been nice, three out of four isn’t bad, right?
Speaking at the podium, Pedersen said: “It was a bit of everything and today we had crosswinds, so definitely a good week for us and we’re happy. It was a long sprint today and I ran out of legs and faster guys beat me in the end. They did a super job so congrats. It made sense that we had the entire team in the front group, we are basically a classics squad here and I’d say that 80% of them are specialists in the crosswinds. It was nice to pin on the numbers again and start racing this early, and definitely with the results we got this week it was super nice.”