Trophée des Grimpeurs, Cat 1.3
France, May 2, 1999
PreviewBelgian Frank Vandenbroucke is the favourite to win the Trophée des Grimpeurs on Sunday. The race is over the circuit of Argenteuil-Sannois in the west of Paris.
VDB, the winner of Luik-Bastenaken-Luik a fortnight ago, is clearly the form rider for the 133.9 kms race. The race has 17 tough climbs including côte de l'Ermitage (300 m at 13 per cent). The course has other attractions. Near to the "Moulin de Sannois" there are spectacular views of Paris. Cofidis has brought a strong team with American Bobby Julich (3rd in the Tour de France) being joined by the young hopeful David Moncoutié.
The main opposition will come from the Casino team with Laurent Roux (3rd in 1997), Pascal Chanteur and Kazak Alexandre Vinokourov.
But the riders from La Française des Jeux - Stéphane Heulot (winner in 1996) and Jean-Cyril Robin - will also be prominent. Other fancied riders are German Jens Voigt (winner of the Critérium international) and Cédric Vasseur, who will be strong on the côté de Sannois.
8 teams (7 French and the Belgian Home Market-Charleroi) have entered the race which is also the 10th round of the Coupe de France. The teams are: Cofidis, Casino, Crédit Agricole, La Française des Jeux, Festina, Big Mat-Auber 93, Home Market-Charleroi, and Besson Chaussures-Nippon Hodo
ReportLaurent Roux was the strong man in this year's Trophée des Grimpeurs, over the hilly 133.9 kms route. It was his second win of the season after taking a stage in Paris-Nice. He attacked on lap 16 (of 17) and was never challenged. He said at the end: "I was very quick today and felt very strong."
The pre-race favourite, Frank Vandenbroucke abandoned due to fatigue. His team manager Alain Deloeil, said: "He has been going hard since the start of the season."
Roux was strong all day. His Casino teammates controlled the race for the first 12 laps after Emmanuel Magnien has attacked early. With 4 laps to go, 8 riders went clear into the lead - Julich, Roux, Da Cruz, Halgand, Garcia Casas, Morin, Heulot, and Jenner. Julich then tried in vain to give Roux the slip. But at the start of lap 16 the Frenchman made the decisive break about 12 kms from the end.
Roux, the best French rider in this year's World Cup (10th in Luik-Bastenaken-Luik, 5th in the Amstel Gold Race), said he now wishes to concentrate on the Midi Libre. He said: "I have never felt better than I have this year." He will now go back at his home base for some rest and training.
Two hopefuls of French cycling also showed their potential on the difficult circuit at Argenteuil-Sannois. Patrice Halgand was present in all the attacks and was 4th overall. Carlos Da Cruz, who usually is a track racer came 5th.
Argenteuil Sannois, Paris, 133.9 kms:
1. Laurent Roux (Fra) Casino 3.09.47 2. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis 1.49 3. Chris Jenner (NZ) Crèdit Agricole 1.55 4. Patrice Halgand (Fra) Festina Lotus 2.03 6. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa) Festina Lotus 2.11 7. Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Française des Jeux 2.18 8. Anthony Morin (Fra) La Française des Jeux 2.21 9. Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Crèdit Agricole 5.39 10. Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Casino 5.41 11. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Française des Jeux 5.42 12. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Casino 5.42 13. Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 5.42 14. Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) La Française des Jeux 5.42 15. Xavier Jan (Fra) La Française des Jeux 5.48 16. Benoît Salmon (Fra) Casino 5.48 17. David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 5.50 18. Jens Voigt (Ger) Crédit Agricole 5.50 19. Benoît Luminet (Fra) Besson Chaussures-Nippon Hodo 5.54 20. Thierry Bourguignon (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 5.57 21. Arnaud Pretot (Fra) Cofidis 6.01 22. Sergey Yakovlev (Kaz) Besson Chaussures-Nippon Hodo 6.02 23. Laurent Madouas (Fra) Festina Lotus 6.04 24. Bradley McGee (Aus) La Française des Jeux 6.04 25. Gilles Bouvard (Fra) Home Market-Charleroi 6.05 26. Pascal Chanteur (Fra) Casino 6.04 27. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Festina Lotus 6.10 28. Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Casino 6.10 29. François Simon (Fra) Crèdit Agricole 6.18 30. Claude Lamour (Fra) Cofidis 6.27 31. Christophe Gauthier (Fra) Besson Chaussures-Nippon Hodo 7.03 32. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Casino 7.05 33. David Lefevre (Fra) Casino 7.05 34. Frédéric Gabriel (Fra) Home Market-Charleroi 7.08 35. Jaime Hernandez (Spa) Festina Lotus 7.10 36. Stéphane Berges (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 9.45 * * out of time limit Finished: 36Thanks to Stéphane David, Paris
1994 Richard Virenque (Fra) 1995 Armand de las Cuevas (Fra) 1996 Stéphane Heulot 1997 Davide Rebellin (Ita) 1998 1. Pascal Hervé (Fra) 133.3 kms in 3.14.03 2. Laurent Desbiens (Fra) 0.13 3. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) 2.23