Wilkinson impresses in France

First published in Sport

EAST Lancashire’s Ian Wilkinson enjoyed a successful Tour de Normandie finishing just outside the top 50 overall and claiming a top 10 stage finish.

Wilkinson, riding for Raleigh in the six day stage race, claimed seventh place on the fifth stage and was part of an attack-minded squad which came close to claiming overall victory with Matthieu Boulo.

The Frenchman eventually finished fourth overall, just nine seconds behind race winner Stefan Kung (BMC).

Raleigh also saw Morgan Kneisky finish fifth on stage four.

Wilkinson was nine minutes 26 seconds off the victor in the final reckoning with another Lancashire ace, Richard Handley, riding for Rapha Condor JLT came in 98th, 26mins 35secs down.

Wilkinson and Raleigh will now turn their focus to the Route Adelie in Vitre, France which begins tomorrow, before they return to the UK to compete in the Tour Series which start next month.

Elsewhere, Lancashire ace Pete Williams secured his first win of the season at the Trofeo du Montuiri.

Southport’s Williams, riding for Haribo-Beacon, who are based in Whalley after timing his attack to perfection.

Williams bridged to an intial escape group before soloing to victory.

His Haribo Beacon team-mate Levi Moody finished in second spot to complete a perfect day for the team who are currently out on a training camp in Mallorca.

Meanwhile, Pete Kennaugh secured overall victory at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali as Team Sky secured a one-two finish in their debut at the Italian event. Dario Cataldo was second.

Chris Froome settled for sixth place in the Volta a Catalunya as Joaquim Rodriguez sealed overall victory.

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