Benoit Cosnefroy outsprinted his fellow Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe to win the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France, as Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar made a low-key return to racing.
World champion Alaphilippe split the race apart with a big dig 60 kilometres from the finish, and he continued to attack.
He had the support of his Deceuninck-Quickstep team-mate Mikel Honore in the closing stages, but he could not shake Cosnefroy who proved the stronger on the run to the line.
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Pogacar was back in the saddle for the first time since the Olympics, and admitted on the eve of the race that he was not sure what to expect.
It looked like normal service as he followed the break of Alaphilippe up the Bosse Saoutarlarin - joining a group containing Honore and Cosnefroy.
However, the Slovenian was dropped shortly afterwards and eventually rolled over the line in 60th place - some six minutes behind Cosnefroy.
The hard day’s racing will have put sharpness into his legs, with Pogacar’s main aim for the remainder of the season being to take Alaphilippe’s world champion’s jersey.
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