Number 4 of the Plages Vendéennes was on the cards and our team shrank by a few riders, as the strong squad was sent to the French Cup that is taking place on the weekend. (They have a stupid rule about foreigners and riders over 25 which ruled me out of the selection for this one). However that was also the case with most of the other teams.
Once more the weather was kind and although it was overcast the whole day, it never rained.
Unfortunately I was terribly placed at the start of the race and due to narrow roads, lots of corners and a fast pace I spent the first three laps of 18km at the back, fighting to get to the front.
Just as I was about to give in to my fate that I was stuck at the back, an opportunity to move up came along and I grabbed it with both hands.
My teammates that were at the front for the first 3 laps were obviously quite tired by now from covering all the attacks and I was happy to help out. However when the winning move went with a bit more than 2 laps to go, we had no one in it and so we started chasing. I have to add here that again it took me some time to get to the front to assist my team with the chase. It is really a pity that I struggle so much with positioning.
To make up for the time taken to get to the front, I pulled some extra long turns at the front which were very appreciated by my younger teammates.
We kept the gap solid at 40 seconds, but didn't manage to close it.
With a bit more than 5km to go other teams swept past us and my job was done. I hung onto the peloton to finish in the same time and teammate Clement Orceau managed a solid 3rd place in the bunch sprint which put him into 6th overall on the day.
Once again disappointed with the struggle of positioning but I'm sure I will improve.
2 more races to go on the weekend.