|The final stage of the Tour du Limousin had an incredible conclusion yesterday, with two riders having exactly the same finishing time. Suspense and indecision on the part of the commissaires, mixed with the overpowering heat meant that the crowd were on absolute tenterhooks. It was seven minutes before the speaker Daniel Mangeas could announce the winner.
Jeremy Roy (FDJ) was the first over the line to win the last etape at Beaublanc in Limoges, but it was not sure if he was the general victor. Jure Kocjan, the yellow jersey, and Julien Simon had been victims of the morning's events, which saw almost half of the peloton give up in the first few kilometres. With 66 riders left, it was a small field!
Evaldas Siskecivius also cracked in the last few kilometres, leaving the challenge to the riders who still had a bit of energy left, despite the stifling temperatures.
Following the tradition that he had started in the Tour de France 2011, Jeremy Roy retained the character of 'super combatif' and surged ahead on the last lap of Beaublanc. Even so, he could be sure of nothing. The Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro followed, hoping to capitalise on the 25" that he held over Roy in the general classement, but his adversary fought him off and Arashiro didn't have enough to catch him. However, Roy seemed to savour the moment a little too much when crossing the line, raising his arms in hommage to his deceased grandfather and this may have cost him important seconds. 21" later Arashiro, who had also eased back a little, crossed the line.
Arashiro was successively 20th, 49th, 33rd and 2nd in the stages; Roy 67th, 86th, 41st and 1st. Given the problem of the times being exactly the same, the only way left of judging the overall winner was the addition of the stage places throughout the tour. Thus it was Arashiro who was the 'vainqueur.'
Winner of a stage in 2008, third in the general in 2006 and 2008, the 27 year old Japanese rider has finally stood on the top of the podium in Limoges.