After winning the Tour du Doubs last year thanks to Loïc Vliegen, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux made a triumphant return in the Doubs department on Friday. The Classic Grand Besançon (1.1, 03/09), the first of three one-day races organized in the region, was also in its first edition as a professional event.
The riders led by Frédéric Amorison took responsibility of the pursuit behind the seven breakaways, who escaped shortly after the start in Besançon. Thanks to the intense work provided by Alexander Evans and Jasper De Plus, the gap was kept under control and the fugitives were kept at reasonable distance all day. Jérémy Bellicaud, Maxime Jarnet and Théo Delacroix followed suit as the riders approached the main climb in the final part of the race, the Côte de la Grande Côte (2.7 km at 5.3%).
After catching the break 30 kilometers from the finish, Quintana (Arkéa) launched hostilities in the peloton, followed by Biniam Girmay Hailu. The 21-year-old then found himself in a six-rider group in pursuit of Quintana. Girmay Hailu and three other riders managed to catch the multiple Grand Tours winner and fought for victory at Marchaux, after 172 kilometers. Thanks to an impressive finish, Biniam Girmay Hailu won the first edition of the Classic Grand Besançon, the first in its new colors. Baptiste Planckaert took 15th place.