Moses broke clear of the peloton with 20km of the 200km stage remaining, and in wet and cold conditions his solo effort was enough to hold off the chasing bunch by 17 seconds, at the line.
Team manager John Herety was delighted with the teams first stage win in the event.
“Tom’s ride was really impressive today – it was classic stuff. We’ve been coming to this race for five years and the stage to Forges-Les Eaux is always on the same route, and it is almost always a bunch finish here.”
“Normandy is the first stage race we do in Europe each year, and often the guys have taken a while to get going. Tom is a big talent and he worked really hard in Australia over the winter, so he has hit the ground running.”
Moses had taken advantage of a slight lull in the bunch when the early three-man move, which at one stage had a maximum seven-minute lead, had been reeled in towards the finish.
The 21 year-old attacked with one other rider, but soon dropped his companion and forged on alone. His advantage was rarely more than 30 seconds, but the undulating roads on the finish circuit played into his favour, and he had plenty of time to savour the win at the finish.
“No one really wanted to help the BMC (development) team when the early break went, so they had ridden all day. The cohesion seemed to go from the bunch when Tom went, and that was all that he needed.”
Moses, who joined Rapha Condor JLT over the winter, had the double bonus of taking the yellow jersey as well as the stage. He now leads Stefan Kung of the BMC development team by 6 seconds.
“It will be close at the moment for the jersey – but we’ll defend it. The boys are in good shape after a bit of time to adjust after Australia, and now we are seeing the benefits of that. It is a great start here, but of course we’d like to go for more.”
The UCI 2.2 ranked French race is regarded as one of the toughest on the calendar for the European UCI Continental teams. Six road stages now remain before the race concludes in Caen on Sunday.