Egan Bernal led home a Team INEOS 1-2 overall victory at La Route d’Occitanie, with Pavel Sivakov second following a tough finale on an emotional final stage.
The result secured Team INEOS' first stage race victory of the season, with Bernal and Sivakov finishing ahead of Astana's Aleksandr Vlasov.
The day started with a beautiful tribute to Nicolas Portal in Lectoure, with Team INEOS riders and Sir Dave Brailsford being joined joined by Nico's family for a minute's applause before the start.
The early breakaway was a 12-strong unit which forced the leaders' teams into action to bring them back into contention, with Team INEOS duo Tao Geoghegan Hart and Dylan van Baarle working hard to reduce the gap.
Fausto Masnada was the biggest threat overall, and was the last rider left infront, until he was caught with 10 kilometres remaining which kickstarted a series of moves, with only Cosnefroy able to go clear. However, Bernal and Sivakov were alive to the danger and finished close behind to round off a dominant race victory.
“I was really happy with the result, I think it’s important to win the race, for the team and the morale after the lockdown. The main thing is that I’m feeling really good. I think my preparation is going well and that is the most important thing for me at this race.
I’m happy to have this race finished and I feel this racing will really help bring my level up as we head towards the Tour de France."
“I was really really happy to get another race in the legs this season, it was the first time for me doing real work in the climbs, so it was nice to have a little hit out, a nice little test and good to be in and amongst the team this week and come away with a fantastic result as well, first and second with Egan and Pavel.
“It was great to see his family this morning and to see how the race paid tribute to him with a minute’s applause with his family."
1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 17:57:27
2. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +13"
3. Aleksandr Vlasov.(Astana) +23"
4. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) +37"
5. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +1'09"