The eighth round of the Coupe de France series was won by Armnad De Las
Cuevas, who rode the last quarter of the race out alone in the lead. Second
was Emmanuel Magnien at 1 minute.
The two men presented a surrealistic scene. Armand in the role of Sunday's hero, alone in the lead since km18, had lapped Luc, suffering like a martyr in his rainbow jersey. A whole world separated them, precisely a lap of 6.8km and more than 10 minutes.
The two now stayed together to the finish] De Las Cuevas made no attempt to drop Leblanc; he'd already all but won, with the chasers at exactly 2 minutes perfectly controlled by the Castorama team; and he was too sensitive to make the world champion any more miserable than he already was.
Marc Madiot's view is that Leblanc is in better shape than he appears to be (witness, he says his ability to stay with De Las Cuevas). He's near the end of the tunnel says Madiot, and the problem's more in his head than his legs.
This race is a real test of climbing ability (witness the relatively slow average speed). It is indeed on a circuit -- a very hilly one north-west of Paris. It's also got piles of history, having started in 1913
Race Distance: 85.5 kms
1. Armand De Las Cuevas FR, Castorama) 2.13.24 2. Magnien +44 3. Virenque +47 4. O'Grady 5. Robin 6. Boardman 7. Laukka 8. Simon s.t. 9. Maignan +56 10. Bourguignon +1.00 11. Taimant s.t. 12. Gaumont +1.06 13. Millar +1.12 14. Lino +1.17 15. Desbiens +1.30 16. Vasseur +1.38 17. Genty +2.11 18. Pontier +2.15 19. Lebreton 20. Cornillet s.t. ...... 31. Leblanc +12.23 34 finishers