Grand Prix Ouest-France - 1.HC

Plouay, France, September 2, 2001

2000 Results    Live Report    Results    Preview and Start list

Huge win for Mattan

By Jeff Jones
Click for larger image
Nico Mattan
Photo: © AFP

"With two kilometers to go, I told Patrick Jonker that I didn't want to take any turns with him behind Halgand. I accepted the risk of losing for taking a huge win. If Jonker didn't want to ride anymore, I would have finished 2nd, the same as last year behind Bartoli."

Those were the words of Belgian Nico Mattan (Cofidis) shortly after winning the 2001 GP Ouest-France, the most significant victory of his eight year professional career. Mattan surprised the more favoured Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour), who had attacked the leading break with 3 kilometres to go. Mattan combined with Patrick Jonker (BigMat) to chase down Halgand with 300m to go, before launching a powerful sprint that neither could match. Halgand had to be content with second and Jonker third.

The race was held over 14 laps of the 14.14 kilometre Circuit Jean Yves Perron, with recent resurfacing in parts making it a very fast parcours. The riders chose to race accordingly, and after a first lap at 42.3 km/h, things only got quicker. The combination of a peloton hungry for success, a big crowd and 175 UCI points for the winner contributed to the high pace, and several attacks went in the opening laps before one finally stuck.

During the fourth lap, a group containing Michael Rogers (Mapei), Claude Lamour (Cofidis), Mikael Pichon (Bonjour), Frederic Guesdon (FdJ), Ludovic Martin (CA), Stéphane Berges (Ag2r), Alexandre Grux (Ag2r), Olivier Trastour and Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour), Lilian Lebreton (BigMat) established a lead, and they were joined by the dangerous Christophe Moreau (Festina) and Coen Boerman (Rabobank) on the fifth lap.
Click for larger image
Christophe Moreau
Photo: © AFP

The peloton decided to have a rest, and at the end of the sixth lap the 12 riders' lead had leapt to 4'15 and it was time to chase. The first team to do so was Laurent Jalabert's CSC-Tiscali team, all of whom got to the front in an attempt to limit the damage caused by Moreau and co. The chase had its desired effect, albeit costing the strength of Jaja's team, and the gap came down to 1'06 with four laps (56 km) to go.

By this stage, Boerman and Berges had been dropped from the leaders, and Rabobank, Lotto and Saeco were assisting the chase. Andrei Tchmil was looking quite strong and was hungry for revenge on this course after coming so close to winning the World's last year.

The break was caught with 34 km to go and almost immediately a new attack went with Nico Mattan and David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Benoît Salmon (Ag2r), Vincent Cali (Collstrop), Mario Aerts and Serge Baguet (Lotto), Stéphane Goubert (Delatour) and Patrick Jonker (BigMat). Goubert dropped back to help his teammate Halgand get up to the break, and that was the final selection despite Tchmil's best efforts to chase them down.
Click for larger image
Chapeau Mattan
Photo: © AFP

The last cards in Plouay were played on the final lap, with Halgand taking the initiative at the top of the climb with 3 kilometres to go, putting in what seemed like the race winning attack. However, the rest hadn't given up and it was Nico Mattan and Patrick Jonker who set off in pursuit of Halgand, catching him with just 300m to go. Mattan wasted no time in attacking for the win on the slight uphill to the finish, and his acceleration was too much for Halgand and Jonker who finished second and third respectively.

"Today, I was very strong," said Mattan. "My team-mate Moncoutié and myself created the final breakaway. Then, I saw Halgand attacking at the same place as Bartoli last year, but I knew that if I followed him straight away, I would have paid for my efforts later. So I think I used the proper tactic...And the right preparation as well: before the race I went on holiday to St-Aygulf on the Mediterranean see with my wife and children, I also got sunburned!" A nice way to prepare for a 198km race at nearly 44km/h!

The Belgians enjoyed more success as Lotto's Serge Baguet and Mario Aerts sprinted in for fourth and fifth, while Mattan's teammate Moncoutie took sixth.

Results - 198 km

1 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis                           4.30.39 (43.894 km/h)
2 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour                    0.01
3 Patrick Jonker (Ned) BigMat-Auber 93
4 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        0.15
5 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
6 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis
7 Vincent Cali (Fra) Collstrop-Palmans                   0.18
8 Benoit Salmon (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance                    0.25
9 Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis                             0.59
10 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
11 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) BigMat Auber 93
12 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
13 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank
14 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
15 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux
16 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Jean Delatour
17 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
18 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bonjour
19 Xavier Jan (Fra) BigMat Auber 93                      1.02
20 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank                         1.29
21 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco
22 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                           1.39
23 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
24 Philippe Koehler (Fra) Mapei-Quick Step
25 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis
26 Fabio Marchesin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
27 Christophe Mengin (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux
28 Didier Rous (Fra) Bonjour
29 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Collstrop-Palmans             2.24
30 Roger Hammond (GBr) Collstrop-Palmans                 2.26
31 Franck Renier (Fra) Bonjour
32 Matt Wilson (Aus) Mercury*
33 Mauro Radaelli (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
34 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) Rabobank
35 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Collstrop-Palmans
36 Bruno Thibout (Fra) Jean Delatour
37 Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Den) CSC-Tiscali
38 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) BigMat Auber 93
39 David Debremaeker (Bel) Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems
40 Michel Klinger (Swi) Festina
41 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
42 Iñaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
43 Eddy Seigneur (Fra) Jean Delatour
44 David Delrieu (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
45 Daniel Schnider (Swi) La Francaise des Jeux
46 Johan Van Der Berg (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
47 Renaud Boxus (Bel) Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems
48 Dominique Rault (Fra) BigMat Auber 93
49 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina
50 Jacky Durand (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux                2.37
51 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Collstrop-Palmans               2.39
52 Alexandre Grux (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
53 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Mercury                            2.44
54 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Rabobank
55 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
56 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
57 François Simon (Fra) Bonjour
58 Gianluca Sironi (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
59 Jürgen Landrie (Bel) Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems
60 Sandy Casar (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux
61 Nicolas Andre (Fra) Cofidis
62 Laurent Madouas (Fra) Festina
63 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
64 Pascal Chanteur (Fra) Festina
65 Olivier Trastour (Fra) Jean Delatour
66 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux
67 Michael Rogers (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step
68 Mark Roland (Aus) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
69 Anthony Morin (Fra) Credit Agricole
70 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
71 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
72 Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) Mapei-Quick Step
73 Kurt Van Lancker (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
74 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole
75 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi
76 Gorka Arrizabalaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
77 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour
78 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Jean Delatour
79 Cyril Saugrain (Fra) BigMat Auber 93
80 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bonjour
81 Arnaud Pretot (Fra) Festina
82 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
83 Sébastien Demarbaix (Bel) Ag2r-Prevoyance
84 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali
85 David George (RSA) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
86 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Bonjour
87 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco Macchine per Caffe
88 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco Macchine per Caffe
89 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
90 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco Macchine per Caffe           9.08
91 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) Saeco Macchine per Caffe     15.38
92 Coen H. Boerman (Ned) Rabobank                         19.27
93 Nicolas Coudray (Swi) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
94 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step

*First stagiaire

Starters: 145
Finishers: 94

Courtesy of Jean-Francois Quenet