Waiting for the upcoming kickoff of the Italian season, and for the Spaniards to get involved into some more action than Sunday's Circuito del Guadiana, young (and not that
young) gun cycling continued halfway through the week in France. Here's news and main results of all four races taking place on French soil lately.
The Auber 93 powerhouse continued their winning ways into round three of the Plages Vendéennes
series. Mathieu Drujon, winner of the two opening legs of the challenge this past week-end, failed to score the hat-trick in Tuesday's 134-km. journey around Saint-Urbain
, but he lost the sprint only to a teammate of his: Jérémie Galland
, fourth place getter at Luçon two days earlier. The other podium finisher, poor Sebastien Turgot of "home team" Vendée U-Pays de la Loire, took another step towards the Guinness Book of Records (or Guinness World Records, as it's better known nowadays) by riding to his fifth
top 5 result in the space of less than a dozen days ... and falling shorty of victory for the fifth
time in the same period! The race was also featured by a large breakaway of two: France's Perrig Quémeneur (Vendée U) and Belgium's Jelle Hanseeuw (Cycling Team Lombarden) were caught by the peloton only under the flamme rouge (with 1 km to go). With two brilliant victories and one second-place performance out of three "stages", Mathieu Drujon unsurprisingly leads the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes overall by a 32-point margin (85 to 53) over Sébastien Turgot, and today's winner Jérémie Galland sits a further four points behind.
Circuit Plages Vendéennes #3 (S.Urbain, 134 km): Top 20 Places
1. Jérémie Galland (FRA - Auber 93) - 03h14'22"
2. Mathieu Drujon (FRA - Auber 93) - s.t.
3. Sébastien Turgot (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - s.t.
4. Alexandre Bousseau (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - s.t.
5. Tom Huyvaert (BEL - Cycling Team Lombarden) - s.t.
6. Franck Bisiaux (FRA - ESEG Douai) - s.t.
7. Julien Gonnet (FRA - Super Sport 35-AC Noyal Chatillon) - s.t.
8. Fabrice Jeandesboz (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - s.t.
9. Thibault Mace (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - s.t.
10. Gilles Fritschmann (FRA - CSM Puteaux) - s.t.
11. Cyrille Patoux (FRA - VC Rouen 76) - s.t.
12. Christophe Diguet (FRA - Auber 93) - s.t.
13. Quentin Bacon (FRA - VC Rouen 76) - s.t.
14. Sébastien Foucher (FRA - Guidon Chalettois) - s.t.
15. André Faye (FRA - ESM Gonfreville L'Orcher) - s.t.
16. Sander Verhaeghe (BEL - Cycling Team Lombarden) - s.t.
17. Julien Barbier (FRA - US Ste Austreberthe Pavilly Barentin) - s.t.
18. Alexandre Naulleau (FRA - Team U Nantes Atlantique) - s.t.
19. Anthony Murillo (FRA - US St Pierre Des Corps) - s.t.
20. Tarmo Raudsepp (EST - Team U Nantes Atlantique)
Circuit Plages Vendéennes - GC after Round 3: Top 10 Places
1. Mathieu Drujon (FRA - Auber 93) - 85 p.
2. Sébastien Turgot (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - 53 p.
3. Jérémie Galland (FRA - Auber 93) - 49 p.
4. Julien Gonnet (FRA - AC Noyal Super Sport 35) - 48 p.
5. Jonas De Couttere (BEL - Lombarden CT) - 45 p.
6. Tom Huyvaert (BEL - Lombarden CT) - 31 p.
7. Cyrille Patoux (FRA - VC Rouen 76) - 29 p.
8. Kevin Cherruault (FRA - U Nantes Atlantique) - 25 p.
9. Christophe Diguet (FRA - Auber 93) - 25 p.
10. Alexandre Bousseau (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire) - 23 p.
Tuesday's other event on the French young gun scene was the Ronde du Pays-Basque
leg four of the Essor Basque series. The race finished into Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port town after a journey of 126 kilometres, and saw Giovanni Carini of Pagnoncelli (the Italian team were very active today, mostly courtesy of Gabriele Orizzonte's attacking attitude) snatch second place for the second time in a row. While the boy from Brescia lost to David De Lay in Sunday's Circuit de la Nive, this time it was another soldier of the same invincible armada
going under the name of Bretagne-Armor Lux that prevented Carini from getting back to the top of the podium: Stéphane Bonsergent
emerged as victor from the close battle between the Breton squad and Pagnoncelli's orange warriors.
Five men had stolen the limelight earlier: Antoine Dalibard of the aforementioned wünderteam from Brittany, Stéphane Bergès of Union Cycliste Artix, the local rider Fabien Broca (Entente Sud Gascogne) and the Russian pair of Valery Valynin and Denis Vorontsov broke clear in the first half and reached a maximum advantage of 02'30" around the halfway point of the race, but they were chased down with some 20 km. from the finish line. The guys from the Russian National Squad as well as some members of Bretagne-Armor Lux made some very late moves. In vain: the Ronde came down to a mass sprint, a neck-and-neck challenge between Bonsergent and Carini, with the former as winner and Florian Vachon (EC Montmarault-Montluçon) as best of the rest. The Russians got two guys in top six spots, but nobody on the podium, while season-opener race (as in "Boucles Catalanes") winner Alexandre Blain put up another good performance. Britain's Andrew Jackson finished in 21st place, clocking the same time as the winner and all other line-crossers.
Ronde du Pays-Basque (126 km): Top 20 Places
1. Stéphane Bonsergent (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - 03h02'05"
2. Giovanni Carini (ITA - Pagnoncelli) - s.t.
3. Florian Vachon (FRA - EC Montmarault-Montluçon) - s.t.
4. Dimitri Medvedev (RUS - Russian National Team) - s.t.
5. Alexandre Blain (FRA - AVC Aix-en-Provence) - s.t.
6. Viatcheslav Vilkov (RUS - Russian National Team) - s.t.
7. Florian Chabbal (FRA - GSC Blagnac) - s.t.
8. Mickaël Larpe (FRA - VC Roubaix Lille Métropole) - s.t.
9. Piotr Zielinski (POL - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - s.t.
10. Jean-Luc Delpech (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - s.t.
11. Sebastien Larpe (FRA - UC Artisienne) - s.t.
12. Romain Renaux (FRA - CC Cambrai) - s.t.
13. Stephane Reimherr (FRA - UC Artisienne) - s.t.
14. Serguey Shcherbakov (RUS - Russian National Team) - s.t.
15. Thomas Lebas (FRA - Ent Sud Gascogne) - s.t.
16. Julien Rabaud (FRA - EC Montmarault Montluco) - s.t.
17. Renaud Castiglioni (FRA - Pedale Gapencaise) - s.t.
18. Pierre Cazaux (FRA - Ent Sud Gascogne) - s.t.
19. Nicolas Batan (FRA - Lescar Velo Sprint) - s.t.
20. Mickael Roly (FRA - EC Montmarault Montlucon) - s.t.
Enough is Enough! And Sebastien Turgot had apparently enough of collecting second, third, fourth and fifth place performances. Nope, he didn't got the victory he just seems to abhor: the truth is Thursday's round four of the Plages Vendéennes
circuit, running over a parcours of 149.3 km. around the western France hamlet of Saint-Julien-des-Landes
, saw our man finish in spot number 21! The race result wasn't decided in a bunch sprint though; with the Auber93 machine not around, victory went to Bastien Delrot
(France - ESEG Douai), who broke away solo and made it to the line, holding off his hard-riding chasers.
The race was contested by a field of 141, containing also the Belgian boys of Team Cycling Lombarden and the Polish Army Cycling Team "newcomers", and was filled with attacks since the beginning. A group of seven made the first significant breakaway, and was subsequently joined by close to a dozen competitors from several different teams. Such big front group was leading the pack by 01'15" at km. 42, and the gap went up to 02'42" about 40 kilometres later.
But here comes Turgot! Terms like "anonymous performance" must be unknown to Sebastien. So the guy found the way to steal the show again: our man rolled out of the field with 50k remaining and quickly cut his gap to the leaders down to 01'40". Too bad that such move wasn't going to earn him any top place result this time, but instead it caused a earthquake inside the breakaway, with the Vendée U riders up front stopping their cooperation with the others and sitting up in order to wait for their fastman (in vain). Consequently some other escapees attacked the break as the "alliance" was broken. The move from ESEG's Geoffrey Deresmes didn't prosper, neither did a later attempt coming from Estonia's Gert Joeaar (of the "home team" Vendée U-Pays de la Loire).
When Deresmes' teammate Bastien Delrot launched his counter-attack, things took a different another turn: the guy quickly caught and dropped Joeaar and managed to put 20 seconds into his nearest pursuers (led by Vendée U, to nobody's surprise) by the 7-km-to-go check; the gap increased to 25" with just three thousand metres left. The pursuit continued on the way to the flamme rouge, but Delrot was up the challenge, and regardless of all efforts from behind he made the most out of his skills as a rouleur and brought his margin up to 35 as he went under the red pennant. To Delort's pleasure, nothing changed in the last kilometre, such that as the boy could raise his arms across to the line, while the first chase group was led home by Alexandre Roux. Vendée U-Pays de la Loire were the biggest losers of the day, as they proved unable to get any riders into the top 5 spots despite all of their efforts.
Circuit Plages Vendéennes #4 (S.Julien des Landes, 149.3 km): Top 20 Places
1. Bastien Delrot (FRA - ESEG Douai) - 03h39'02" (40.9 km/h)
2. Alexandre Roux (FRA - UC Sabolienne) - at 22"
3. Yohan Lucas (FRA - Team U Nantes Atlantique)
4. Clément Mas (FRA - VC Rouen)
5. Benoît Legris (FRA - VC du Bocage de Vire)
6. Thibault Mace (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire)
7. Clément Mahe (FRA - Brest Iroise Cyclisme)
8. Michal Pawlyta (POL - Poland’s Army Team)
9. Cédric Fontbonnat (FRA - Blois Club Avenir Cyclisme Loir et Cher)
10. Guillaume Malle (FRA - US Ste Austreberthe Pavilly Barentin)
11. David Chopin (FRA - Team U Nantes Atlantique)
12. Tom Huyvaert (BEL - Lombarden C.T.)
13. Gert Joeaar (EST - Vendée U Pays de la Loire)
14. Franck Vermeulen (FRA - VC Rouen)
15. Jocelin Maillet (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire)
16. Bram Deprez (BEL - Lombarden C.T.)
17. Olivier Migne (FRA - Vendée U Pays de la Loire)
18. Guillaume Blot (FRA - US Ste Austreberthe Pavilly Barentin)
19. Franck Bisiaux (FRA - ESEG Douai)
20. Jerôme Fremin (FRA - US Ste Austreberthe Pavilly Barentin)
Tuesday opened the weekly score with a Plages Vendéennes stage and an Essor Basque Series round, but Thursday stroke back in much the same fashion. You already know everything about the latest round of the "Circuit" in Pays de la Loire, so it's Essor Basque time now. And it's Bretagne-Armor Lux time (as usual) too. With their Italian rivals of Pagnoncelli no longer around - the orange armada moved back to the homeland to prepare for next Saturday's season-opening Coppa San Geo - it was easier for the former Jean Floc'h cycling team to get their fourth success out of four races under their belt.
Winner of Thursday's Tour du Labourd in the south-western corner of the nation and wearer of the typical Basque Beret on the podium was Stephane Petilleau. Not what you'd call a "young gun" (he turned 36 one week ago), but still kickin', the former professional rider - he wore the Castorama, TVM-Farm Frites, Gan and Crédit Agricole jerseys in his career - powered to the line with a nine-second advantage on Russia's Andrei Kluyev (the boys from the East once more had their efforts for victory frustrated by their Breton opponents).
The wünderteam from Brittany climbed the podium also with the other member of the three-man winning breakaway, David Le Lay, champion of the recent Circuit de la Nive (see our past report, link down in the page), and got six more riders in the race top ten to make their stellar performance complete. And with Pétilleau and Le Lay going clear in the first ascent - together with Kluyev - and their teammates keeping the "chase" under control back in the pack, things couldn't have a different outcome. It was not about the Bretons only: also Brits have got something to cheer for, courtesy of Andrew Jackson, who led the first chase group home and scored an excellent fourth place finish, his best result so far this year.
Le Tour du Labourd (Hasparren-Hasparren, 1.12.1): Top 20 Places
1. Stephane Petilleau (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - 02h40'35"
2. Andrei Kluyev (RUS - Russian Nat. Team) - at 09"
3. David Le Lay (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 11"
4. Andrew Jackson (GBR - Cercle Gambetta) - at 01'34"
5. Sebastien Duret (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
6. Yann Pivois (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
7. Guillaume Le Floch (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
8. Piotr Zielinski (POL - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
9. Charles Guilbert (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
10. Noan Lelarge (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'34"
11. Valeri Valynin (RUS - Russian Nat. Team) - at 01'37"
12. Jean Luc Delpech (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'37"
13. Antoine Dalibard (FRA - Bretagne-Armor Lux) - at 01'37"
14. Vasili Khatuntsev (RUS - Russian Nat. Team) - at 02'14"
15. Alexandre Blain (FRA - AVC Aix-en-Provence) - at 02'14"
16. Roman Maximov (RUS - Russian Nat. Team) - at 02'14"
17. Pierre Cazaux (FRA - Ent Sud Gascogne) - at 02'14"
18. Lionel Suhubiette (FRA - Ent Sud Gascogne) - at 02'14"
19. Ilia Syrtsev (RUS - Russian Nat. Team) - at 02'14"
20. Nicolas Batan (FRA - Lescar Velo Sprint) - at 02'14"
Young Guns News Roundup # 1 (02/20/2007) Boucles Catalanes
Route de l'Atlantique
Boucles de la Soule
Circuit des Plages Vendéennes Round 1 (Perrier)
Ronde du Canigou
Circuit de la Nive
Circuit des Plages Vendéennes Round 2 (Luçon)
Grand Prix de Peymeinade
41st Circuito del Guadiana