Anthony Perez (Cofidis) powered through a block headwind in a 40km solo breakaway to take the victory at the Faun Drôme Classic. Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) crossed the finish line in second place after winning the four-man chase-group sprint with Andrea Bagioli (Soudal-QuickStep) in third, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) in fourth and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) fifth.
Perez attacked over the Côte des Roberts some 40km from the finish line, a long way out given the cold temperatures, strong winds and a series of climbs en route to Étoile-sur-Rhône.
He built his lead out to 1:30 as a chase group that initially included seven riders; Costa, Bagioli, Gaudu and Simmons, along with Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Corbin Strong (Israel-Permier Tech).
The chase group splintered apart over the penultimate climb as Bagioli attacked on the Mur d’Allex, bringing with him Gaudu, Costa and Simmons while distancing Alaphilippe, Bardet and Strong 10km from the finish.
Perez held strong over the final Plateau de Soulier and crossed the finish line 1:11 ahead of his nearest chasers to take the day’s victory.
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