Jérôme Pineau - Master Baker
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The Brioches La Boulangère Cycling Team scored a spectacular 1-2 in the 19th Clásica de Almería ( Race Report Here )
And it was the man from Nantes, Jérôme Pineau who gave the Baker Boys their first victory of the season with team mate Thomas Voeckler getting 2nd place ahead of US Potstals Benjamin Noval Gonzalez.
Team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau certainly appreciates the significance of the teams performance, talking to the French Daily Ouest France he said –
“It is a victory that will boost everyone’s spirits. Since the start of the season, I think the team has been riding better than last year, but this has not been reflected in our results, but now we have the confidence of a first win…”
So the Brioches La Boulangère boys have confirmed that there is a lot to the team on the northern side of the Pyrenees, however the big question, and indeed one that Jean-Rene Bernaudeau must be getting tired of answering is, “when will Beloki start to race?”
His early season debut, hampered by tendonitis, has meant we have yet to see Joseba Beloki make his racing debut for his new French team. Jean-Rene Bernaudeau explains the problem –
"It is undoubtedly one of the consequences of his terrible fall during the Tour last year. It is simple, as soon as he feels fit he starts to train, as soon as he starts to train the problem reoccurs.”
A worrying situation, especially since all the other major Tour contenders have started, or are about to start racing (Armstrong and Vinokourov in February, Ullrich on Sunday at Almeria).
"At the moment I am unable to say when Joseba will begin his season. The doctors are the people who can answer that question. But remember that the targets for Joseba (the Tour and Vuelta) are not tomorrow. There is still a little time. If, for example, Joseba had not started racing by the 1st May, then, yes, I would be worried. But at the moment the rest of the team continue to race, I am more concerned with the upcoming Paris-Nice race at the minute”
Alain Fadié, the general manager of Brioches La Boulangère, who made the big investment to bring Beloki to the team, is also not worried yet –
“There are always risks if you choose to sponsor a sport. There are parameters, which you cannot control. If you decide to advertise by a large TV campaign then you reduce that element of risk. We are not anxious. The objective, it is the Tour. There is still plenty of time. We are not in the danger zone yet”
The 24 year old from Mont-St. Aignan is naturally delighted with his first victory of the season –
"last year, I had was in good form for the start of the season but did not win anything. At the time, I had said myself: it is not serious, there will be other chances through the season. I was wrong! I realised this winter that you must grab the opportunities when they arise. Cycle racing is not only about the Tour.”
"I worked through the winter in the same way as last year, on the other hand psychologically, I changed my way of seeing the things. I have become more self-dependant. I have started to think about the races more objectively.”
Certainly Jérôme, and other team mates such as Sébastien Chavanel, feel the pressure from the French media to achieve better and better results, Since his stunning second place into Pau in the 2002 Tour de France the press have been expecting great things from the youngster.
His victory in the Clásica de Almería on Sunday is his fourth major success having won Polynormande and a stage of the Tour de l'Ain, having previously won the Tour de Normandie 2002.
“This year will be my third as a professional, I want to prove that I am a rider capable of victories and one who is improving slowly but surely. I think I had a good season in 2003, I progressed, and I finished in the top 100 UCI ranked riders in the world (94th with 470 pts), that’s not too bad! Now when a chance arises I am determined to take it. It is no good thinking about other races; if you have a chance to win you must take it. My season is from February to October and is not just about the Tour”
Following his success Pineau will spend a week at home before racing in the Paris Nice.
"I want to do well and to work for Sylvain Chavanel. I have a few points to prove ….”
Jérôme Pineau will then race the Critérium International, Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco and then the Ardennes Classics.
1er de la Poly Normande à St Martin de Landelles
1er de l'étape de St Vulbas du Tour de l'Ain
3ème du Trophée des Grimpeurs
3ème du Tour de Vendée
3ème du Tour de l'Ain
4ème de la 2ème étape de l’Etoile de Bessèges
5ème d' A Travers le Morbihan
5ème de l’Étoile de Bessèges
5ème du Grand Prix de Lugano (Suisse)
6ème du Championnat de France à Plumelec
6ème du Grand Prix du Télégramme à Châteaulin
6ème de la 1ère étape de la Classica Alcobendas (Espagne)
9ème de l'étape de Ceyzérat du Tour de l'Ain
12ème du Grand Prix d’Ouverture La Marseillaise
13ème du Tour du Haut-Var
13ème du Tour Méditerranéen
15ème de l'étape de St Dizier du Tour de France
15ème de l'étape de Lélex-Mont-Jura du Tour de France
16ème de l’étape de La Motte du Tour Méditerranée