"I told him to ride his own race" - Benoît Cosnefroy shows strong form ahead of Ardennes and reveals insight into AG2R's Brabantse Pijl strategy

Benoît Cosnefroy rode to second place at the Brabantse Pijl last year and once again he finished on the podium, but without a win. AG2R Citroën Team had a strong strategy and riders in the day however, and they've enjoyed their biggest win of the year so far.

“Dorian was so strong, while I had an average feeling myself. That's why I told him to ride his own race," the Frenchman said in a post-race interview. "It was a very tough race, as usual, but the rain and cold made it even more difficult. You have to be strong to win and that was Dorian."

The short and steep climbs were perfectly suited to Cosnefroy, but the feeling in the day wasn't the best. As other teams have, AG2R played with their numbers and Dorian Godon ended up finding himself in the perfect day, thriving in the steep climbs whilst keeping his raw power which he then used to take the win over Ben Healy. Behind Cosnefroy was the best of the rest, being the only rider who managed to escape the peloton late on, with an attack in the final ascent.

Cosnefroy has been building his form towards the Ardennes classics and has appeared here to take the best run-up. He will be one of the big contenders for Amstel Gold Race this Sunday, and for Flèche Wallone he should also be one of the main favourites - whilst being an outsider for the more climber-friendly Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

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