ProTeam Harm Vanhoucke on the podium at Mercan’Tour Classic

In the French climbing race Harm Vanhoucke sprinted to a third spot. Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) won solo.
Race 29 May 2024

The past winners of the Mercan’Tour Classic tell a lot about the heavy course. A breakaway of five riders got an advantage of 3 minutes. On the top of the Baisse de la Cabanette, Valentin Retailleau (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) went solo from the break. But just before the top of La Colmiane also his time in front was over, as the pace in the bunch went up and around 15 riders were still there to fight for the victory, among them Harm Vanhoucke for Lotto Dstny.

A lot of attacks came, and it was Clément Berthet (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) who put a decisive move just before the top of the Col de la Couillole. Lenny Martinez was the only one to join him in the front. In the last kilometer Martinez rode solo to the victory. Vanhoucke sprinted to the third spot: “The pace was tough all day; we knew the race would be decided on the last climb. At that point, it was every man for himself; it was just a matter of having good legs. In the finale, we could still see the leaders in the distance. We got closer, but we were at our limit.”

“I didn't expect to be able to podium here already, so I am satisfied with this result. After the Tour of Hungary, I rested for a week and have only been training again for ten days. It's always a bit of a wait to see what that will bring. Now I'm heading to Andorra for altitude training, followed by Slovakia and the Sibiu Cycling Tour. Being able to ride a good race here already gives me a boost. It's better than to realize that there is still a lot of work ahead, right?”

Picture: PhotoNews