After finishing second in Saturday’s Classic Loire Atlantique, Tom Van Asbroeck ended a strong weekend riding for the IPT Academy by finishing third in the Cholet Agglo Tour on Sunday.

The Belgian rider’s form ahead of the Belgian classics was clear to see in the Coupe de France race, although victory in Cholet went to Paul Lapeira (DAT), who won solo with a perfectly timed attack, replicating his triumph from 24 hours earlier.

“I’m happy with the weekend, especially with the young team that we have here,” said Van Asbroeck. “But, of course, I’m a little disappointed that I did not win, but I think today this was the best result possible. I felt strong yesterday, and I felt strong today.”

IPT’s young team – which featured Academy riders Pier-André Côté (who finished fourth in Saturday’s race), Alvaro Garcia, Moritz Kretschy, Rotem Tene, and Kiaan Watts – again did a great job of keeping the race under control. The day’s main breakaway was caught with 27.5 kilometers remaining, and even a number of speculative moves were chased down by the team.

However, Lapeira’s late move was one acceleration too many, and he hung on to win by a second. Van Asbroeck was narrowly pipped in the bunch sprint behind by Alexis Renard (COF).

Van Asbroeck added: “My teammates did the best they could do to close the gaps. When the winner attacked, I was absolutely at my limit – I needed five seconds to recover and get my strength back. It was just too much for me to follow him.”

The Academy’s next race is the Volta Limburg Classic in the Netherlands on Saturday 30 March.