Lenny Martinez takes 5th win of the season with victory at Mercan'Tour Classic 2024

The latest round of the French Cup has gone to Groupama - FDJ's Lenny Martinez, after a thrilling finale to a brutal day of climbing at the 2024 Mercan'Tour Classic.

With the peloton all together heading into the final climb of the day, it was Groupama - FDJ, the team of pre-race favourites Lenny Martinez and David Gaudu, who were controlling things on the front of the bunch. As the climbing began, the pace was kept high and the group began to quickly dwindle.

Then, with 24km to go, Martinez launched his first testing attack of the day. Although that attack wasn't able to break things up, the tension had definitely been risen by the move of Martinez as following his regrouping with fellow contenders, two uphill crashes followed in quick succession with Martinez himself, Guillaume Martin and Ivan Sosa all hitting the deck rather strangely.

The first rider to get true separation with an attack was George Bennett of the Israel - Premier Tech team, who had been repeatedly attacking and counter-attacking alongside his teammate Matthew Riccitello. At the top of the climb however, it was the resurgent Martinez who solo at the head of the race. With around 13km still to go though, victory was by no means assured.

On the short descent before the false flat finale, Martinez was joined by Clement Berthet, with the duo 20 seconds clear of the nearest chasers heading into the last 10km. As they extended that lead over the next few kilometres, victory was looking like going to either Martinez or Berthet as the final little rise to the line began in the last few kilometres.

With 1km to go, Martinez made his move and despite Berthet's best efforts, the 20-year-old fired clear and took the victory, his fifth of the season. Berthet secured second behind, with Harm Vanhoucke taking third place.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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