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Tom Copeland is supported by the John Ibbotson fund and this year rides for Division 1 Espoir team BIC2000 in France. The youngster from Surrey tackles the biggest race of his career this week, the Tour of Brittany.
Day 1: New type of racing this Pro malarkey for me. It’s still pushing the pedals, but not like the big amateur races I’m used to. It was good to catch up with a few English faces today, though, as there is a composite GB team here with some old faces from junior years.
Anyway…the race. Break of five went not too long after the start and then it was feet up for 60k’s where I was tempted to fall asleep from time to time. I soon woke up when the race ripped to shreds on a cross wind section and with a crash helping to split the bunch, I was chasing in the second split. We chased all the way to the finish, making contact with the leaders about five k's out, only for my legs to die at three k's out in the crosswinds. I went on to lose 1min 20secs in the final three kilometres to the front group of about 40 or 50. I was pretty gutted to be honest.
Rob Hayles and Ed Clancy both got dropped from my chase group in the cross winds today. That was a sight!
With only three Cat 2 (easiest apparently!) climbs today, it was a relatively flat, fast stage leaving the wind to do its job. Tomorrow, though, starts to gain some gradient with the finish circuits sure to do some damage with a nasty climb each lap.
Legs up now, massage next, then dinner. Oh yeah, the winner was Dennis Van Winden from Rabobank.
Next one tomorrow... if there's internet in the hotel.