The Bay of Mont St Michel may be picturesque, but it was far from a walk in the park for WEG endurance competitors, with many nations chasing the team gold unable to get even one competitor to finish.
The winner, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was one of only 38 competitors in the field of 174 to complete the 160km course at Sartilly. The other four riders for the UAE were eliminated, with all of them being handy to the lead in the first two circuits of the five-loop course.
The course was unquestionably challenging and technical, made even more so by recent heavy rain.
The five-strong French team, perhaps better able to read their home conditions, all managed to finish, but the team ultimately gold went to Spain, which got four of its five riders home.
A majority of teams failed to get enough finishers to put them in contention for team medals.
Bahrain, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, Uruguay, the United States, and Belgium, for example, each got only one competitor home, while Germany, New Zealand, Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan and Norway failed to even get one finisher.