c. Official site
Sébastien Chavanel was the fastest of the fast men in todays GP Denain (1.1). Chavanel outpaced the Australian Mark Renshaw (Crédit Agricole) and Eric Baumann (T-Mobile).
From the very start of the race the pace was high and an early attack by Bert De Waele after 6 kilometres was soon pulled back. After 13 kilometres a break of 14 riders including Kenny Dehaes and Geert Omloop got clear of the peloton. However these riders were never allowed more than 40 seconds on the bunch and after 40 kilometres they became 13 when Mirco Lorenzetto punctured.
However by the time the race reached the circuits around Denain the race was back together. With 25 kilometres to go Maryan Harry and Janek Tombak tried their chances. Erwin Thijs and Nicolas Roche (who seems to be in attacking mood in every race this season) crossed to the two front men but the sprinters teams were in no mood to let the birds fly away.
The inevitable mass sprint saw Sebastien Chavanel time his effort to perfection.T-Mobile pro Eric Baumann finished third, just behind Australian Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) giving the T Mobile team its second podium finish in as many days – after Mark Cavendish's sprint victory at the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday.
Baumann will be particularly satisfied as it was his first podium finish since coming back from the broken leg he suffered in an horrific crash in Portugal over a year ago.
"I'm very satisfied. Eric almost had the race won, but in the last metres two riders managed to just brush by him," said sporting director Allan Peiper.
1. Sébastien Chavanel – FDJ
2. Mark Renshaw – Crédit Agricole
3. Eric Baumann – T-Mobile
4. Said Haddou – Auber 93
5. Gorik Gardeyn – Unibet.com
6. Nicolas Roche – Crédit Agricole
7. Jerémie Galland – Auber 93
8. Jean-Patrick Nazon – AG2r