French National Road Championships

Charade, France, July 5, 1998

Past Winners     Elite Field     Elite Report     Elite Results     Women


Richard Virenque, who has announced that winning the French Championship is his prime objective for the season, Laurent Jalabert, without doubt wanting to wear the blue white and red jersey, and Armand de las Cuevas, already a winner in 1991, are the men to watch in Sunday's French National Road Championship at Charade.

On Sunday at Charade, on the difficult route around the Monts d'Auvergne, these three riders are the logical favourites to succeed Stéphane Barthe. The course will be very selective with the riders having to contend with the 7 kms climb at 15 per cent gradient 11 times. The terrain will favour Virenque, who has won the climber's jersey in the Tour de France 4 times already. But Jalabert has also been climbing well as his form in the Classique des Alpes last month has shown. And then there is de las Cuevas, recent winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Route du Sud.

The first consideration is that the chief of the Festina team has many helpers in this race. The two others are the only representatives in this race of their respective teams, ONCE-Deutsche Bank and Banesto. Their isolation will perhaps represent a handicap.

Of the other contenders who have the potential to win, like Laurent Madouas (Lotto), Jean-Cyril Robin (US Postal), Laurent Roux (TVM) or Luc Leblanc (Polti), they also ride for foreign teams.

It is certain that this race will not come down to a final sprint and there will be many attacks. But in the first laps, the riders will be climbing the mountain cautiously.

Virenque will be able to count on Laurent Brochard, the current World Champion, Pascal Hervé, Christophe Moreau andt Didier Rous. But should he not have the legs, each one of them has the necessary qualities to take the Championship. Especially Hervé, who has affectionately called them the Russian Mountains.

In terms of the teams, only the Casino team seems to be capable of matching it with Festina. With Christophe Agnolutto, Gilles Bouvard, Pascal Chanteur, Benoit Salmon and Jacky Durand, champion of France in 1993 and 94), they have the riders to make some trouble.

Cédric Vasseur (GAN), Lylian Lebreton (BigMat Auber) and Christophe Rinero (Cofidis) also figure among the possibles but everyone would be surprised if they won. But with 144 riders starting, all of them imagining the "bleu blanc rouge", anything could turn up on Sunday evening.

French Elite Championships, 209 kms:

 1. Laurent Jalabert (ONCE-Deutsche Bank)	              5.42.41
 2. Luc Leblanc (Team Polti)					 s.t.
 3. Richard Virenque (Festina-Lotus)				 0.45
 4. Stéphane Heulot (La Française des Jeux)			 1.45
 5. Laurent Madouas (Lotto-Mobistar)				 4.57
 6. Pascal Hervé (Festina-Lotus)				 4.57
 8. Jean-Cyril Robin (US Postal)				 6.57
 9. Gilles Maignan (La Mutuelle Seine-et-Seine)			 7.13
10. Christophe Rinero (Cofidis)					12.21
11. Benoit Salmon (Casino)					17.04
12. Denis Leproux (Big Mat-Auber 93)				17.04
13. Lilian Lebreton (Big Mat-Auber 93)				19.23
14. Pascal Peyramaure (CC Nogent/Oise)				19.41
15. Claude Lamour (La Mutuelle Seine-et-Seine)			24.06
16. Frédéric Delalande (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)			27.47
17. Vincent Cali (Casino)					27.47
18. Philippe Bordenave (Big Mat-Auber 93)			28.28
19. Sylvain Desbois (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)			28.34
20. Noan Lelarge (CC Etupes)					28.34
21. Alain Saillour (UC Felletin)				29.33
22. Nicolas Vogondy (La Française des Jeux)			29.45
23. David Delrieu (La Mutuelle Seine-et-Seine)			30.31
24. Christophe Oriol (Casino)					32.04
25. Frédéric Bessy (Casino)					32.04

Started 136
Finished 25
Stephane David, Paris provided the complete results

Race Report:

French cycling photographer, Daniel Schamps, who often writes for provides this report on the French National Road Championships.

The circuit was really hard in the vicinity of Clermont-Ferrand in the Massif Central (in the very centre of France). One descent and one climb with 17% slopes (approx. 1 in 5). The circuit was 19km long to cover 11 times. More than 5000 metres to climb like a hard Pyrenean stage of the Tour de France. A good opportunity for the strong men ; they didn’t missed it. The race started at full speed (more than 39km/h for the two first laps) and after only one hour only forty riders remained with a chance of victory. For the others the race was over.

De las Cuevas (victor of the Dauphiné Libéré and the Route du Sud in June) shook the bunch and the leading group diminished kilometre after kilometre from 40 to 36, 32, 26. The Festina men (Moreau, Rous, Laurent) had to give their best to help Virenque who had to change his bike to close a big gap.

With five laps to go the six best climbers of the French bunch were in command. Hervé and Virenque (Festina), L. Jalabert (ONCE), Robin (US Postal Service), Leblanc (Polti) and Heulot (Française des Jeux). The two Festina’s actually disturbed the other members of the head. In the ascent Virenque tried his luck but had already the others in his back wheel. Hervé countered and was quickly 20 seconds clear when he punctured at the back wheel. The 4 others had already passed him when he changed his wheel. He was trying to refind his place ahead when he saw he had also a puncture at the front wheel. New stop. Three kilometres further he missed a curve, broke his wheel. Result: 1min25sec back and no hope to reach the head once more.

Then Luc Leblanc tried several times to move clear, during all the ascents he attacked but Jalabert regained ground metre after metre. Each time Virenque suffered (He is not as good as last year I think when he was so strong during the Tour de France) but always caught the two leaders. Heulot as well but only in the descent.

Useless to tell you that each time it was harder. Behind the 4 leaders the gaps were impressive. As Jalabert and Leblanc crossed the line for the penultimate time (overtaking Perraudeau of Gan on the line), Virenque chasing 28seconds behind, 100 metres clear of Heulot, the followers only aimed to finish. Hervé and Robin were at 4 minutes, Madouas at 4min 15sec, Cedric Vasseur at 4min45secs, Maignan at 5min45sec, Rinero at 7min15sec, Salmon and Leproux at 12 minutes (crossing the line as Leblanc and Jalabert were already climbing together in the last ascent).

Virenque was completely exhausted (telling the french TV cameraman when he joined for the last time Leblanc and Jalabert he was almost dead, putting a finger on his throat like a knife). This time, contrary to the other laps, it was Jalabert who attacked. Leblanc joined him but not Virenque. Heulot was almost freewheeling. He had no reaction when Jalabert moved clear. Then Leblanc and Jalabert joined their efforts and the leader of the UCI Classification was the fastest on the line, Leblanc crossing the line 5 metres behind him, applauding Jalabert for his success. And what a splendid rostrum with Virenque as 3rd man. First words of jalabert to sebastian Pozo his masseur: "C’était dur"!

Note from Daniel: Manolo Saiz was behind Jalabert today. It was actually a big aim for Jalabert for in the same time all the other ONCE riders were involved in the Spanish national championship.

Complete Starting List

Casino 				Festina

 1. Barthe			63. Bassons
 2. Agnolutto			64. Brochard
 3. Bessy			65. Halgand
 4. Bouvard			66. Hervé
 5. Cali			67. Laurent
 6. Chanteur			68. L. Lefevre
 7. Durand  			69. Médan
 8. Gougot			70. C. Moreau
 9. D. Lefevre			71. Rous
10. Oriol			72. Virenque
11. Salmon

La Française des Jeux	  	GAN

12. Bouyer			73. Bos
13. Casper			74. Hinault
14. Guesdon			75. Langella
15. Heulot  			76. Moncassin
16. Jan				77. Perraudeau
17. Ledanois			78. Petilleau
18. Magnien			79. Pretot
19. Mengin			80. Seigneur
20. Morelle			81. Simon
21. Morin			82. Vasseur
22. D. Nazon
23. J-P Nazon			TVM-Farm frites
24. Perque			
25. Vogondy			83. Asmaker
				84. Roux
Big Mat-Auber '93	
				Home Market-Charleroi
26. L. Auger			
27. G. Auger			85. Laveur-Pedoux
28. Bergès			86. Ramel
29. Bordenave			
30. Bourguignon			US Postal Service
31. Da Cruz				
32. Genty			87. Deramé
33. Gouvenou			88. Robin
34. Hatton			
35. Leproux			Team Polti
36. Lebreton		
37. Lino			89. Leblanc
38. S. Ravaleu			90. Rokia

Cofidis				ONCE-Deutsche Bank

39. Cappelle			91. L. Jalabert
40. Delbove
41. Desbiens		 	Lotto-Mobistar
42. Gaumont
43. Goubert			92. Madouas
44. N. Jalabert
45. Moncoutié			Banesto
46. F. Moreau
47. Plouhinec			93. De las Cuevas
48. Rinero
49. Saugrain			Troiamarisco
50. Thibout
				94. Fernandes
La Mutuelle Seine-et-Seine

51. Bernard
52. Cueff
53. Delrieu
54. Dojwa
55. Gabriel
56. Guilbert
57. Lamour
58. Maignan
59. Pillon
60. Rault
61. Talmant
62. Teyssier

Elite without Contract Riders

 95. Delalande (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
 96. Guest (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
 97. Paumier (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
 98. Poilvet (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
 99. F.Ravaleu (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
100. Templier (Jean Floc'h-Mantes)
101. Brard (VC St. Quentin)
102. Clain (VC St. Quentin)
103. Pencole (VC St. Quentin)
104. JM Thilloy (VC St. Quentin)
105. Barbier (VC St. Quentin)
106. Drubay (CC Etupes)
107. N.Dumont (CC Etupes)
108. Jeannier (CC Etupes)
109. Lelarge (CC Etupes)
110. Pofilet (CC Etupes)
111. Turpin (CC Etupes)
112. Blanchard (Vendée U)
113. Beneteau (Vendée U)
114. Faudot (Vendée U)
115. Guiberteau (Vendée U)
116. Pichon (Vendée U)
117. Remier (Vendée U)
118. Beaune (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
119. D.Dumont (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
120. Fouliard (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
121. Klaes (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
122. Leveau (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
123. Peyramaure (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
124. JP Duracka (Team Besson-Aulnat)
125. Gauthier (Team Besson-Aulnat)
126. Jousset (Team Besson-Aulnat)
127. Laroche (Team Besson-Aulnat)
128. Mauduit (Team Besson-Aulnat)
129. Potiron (Team Besson-Aulnat)
130. Augé (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
131. Finot (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
132. Flochon (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
133. Giguet (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
134. Painaud (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
135. Ruberti (VC Lyon-Vaulx en Velin)
136. Elias (US Montauban)
137. Bolgiani (Cycle Poitevin)
138. Planchaud (CG Orléans)
139. G.Moreau (CSM Persan) DNS
140. Flickinger (EC St. Etienne-Loire)
141. Saillour (UC Felletin-La Creuse)
142. Thevenin (CR 4 Chemins Roanne)
143. Corlay (UC Chateauroux)
144. Urien (Cyclisme en Finistère)
Daniel Schamps, Paris provided the complete results

Women Road Championship

Jeannie Longo, who will be 40 in October, won the French Women's Road Championship on Friday at Charade taking her 14th National Title in a row.

Attacking in the first of 6 laps with 7 other riders, she dropped one after another and finished 3.43 in front of Séverine Desbouys (2nd) and Fany Lecourtois (3rd), the only riders left on the last lap.

 1. Jeannie Longo (Paris Cycliste Olympique) 
 2. Séverine Desbouys
 3. Fany Lecourtois
 4. Gérarldine Loewenguth

Past Winners

1919	Henri Pelissier
1920	Jean Alavoine
1921	Francis Pelissier
1922	Jean Brunier
1923	Francis Pelissier
1924	Francis Pelissier
1925	Achile Souchard
1926	Achile Souchard
1927	Ferdinand Le Drogo
1928	Ferdinand Le Drogo
1929	Marcel Bidot
1930	Roger Bisseron
1931	Armand Blanchonnet
1932	Andre Godinat
1933	Roger Lapebie
1934	Raymond Louviot
1935	Georges Speicher
1936	Rene Le Greves
1937	Georges Speicher
1938	Paul Maye
1939	Georges Speicher
1940	no race
1941	Rene Vietto
1942	Emile Idee
1943	Paul Maye
1944	Urbain Caffi
1945	Eloi Tassin
1946	Louis Caput
1947	Emile Idee
1948	Cesar Marcelak
1949	Jean Rey
1950	Louison Bobet
1951	Louison Bobet
1952	Adolphe Deledda
1953	Raphael Geminiani
1954	Jacques Dupont
1955	Andre Darrigade
1956	Bernard Gauthier
1957	Valentin Huot
1958	Valentin Huot
1959	Henri Anglade
1960	Jean Stablinksi
1961	Raymond Poulidor
1962	Jean Stablinksi
1963	Jean Stablinksi
1964	Jean Stablinksi
1965	Henri Anglade
1966	Jean-Claude Theilliere
1967	Desire Letort
1968	Lucien Aimar
1969	Ramond Delisle
1970	Paul Gutty
1971	Yves Hezard
1972	Roland Berland
1973	Bernard Thevenet
1974	Georges Talbourdet
1975	Regis Ovion
1976	Guy Sibille
1977	Marcel Tinazzi
1978	Bernard Hinault
1979	Roland Berland
1980	Pierre-R Villemiane
1981	Serge Beucherie
1982	Regis Clere
1983	Marc Gomez
1984	Laurent Fignon
1985	Jean-Claude Leclercq
1986	Yvon Madiot
1987	Marc Madiot
1988	Eric Caritoux
1989	Eric Caritoux
1990	Philippe Louviot
1991	Armand de las Cuevas
1992	Luc Leblanc
1993	Jacky Durand
1994	Jacky Durand
1995	Eddy Seigneur
1996	Stephane Heulot
1997	Stephane Barthe