British Cycling Podium Programme athlete Simon Yates finished an eventual third on the first day of the Ardennes Challenge and won the KOM after being in front in a two up break for the first half of the race based at Tintigny in the Ardennes.
Yates' teammate Joe Kelly finished a creditable 11th and Alistair Slater 93rd after a late puncture. Adam Yates who is riding with the team to enable Jon Dibben, George Atkins, Sam Lowe and Chris Latham to take part in the UCI Rutland Melton International CiCLE Classic this weekend, suffered a broken chain while the team car was in front and was forced to abandon while Owain Doull pulled out still suffering from a recent cold. Similarly Sam Harrison pulled out early suffering from a swollen big toe.The event is based on points not time so riders are eligible to start the following day despite not completing the previous stage.
The race moves to Sibret for the 134km stage after which the the stages become progressively more difficult before the conclusion on Sunday after which the squad return to the UK for the Tour of the Reservoir Premier Calender after a successful five week campaign in Europe.