G.P. Cholet-Pays de Loire

Cholet-Pays de Loire, a Cat 1.1 race, takes place Sunday (March 24) over 207km. Among the 19 teams will be all six French-registered teams, since the race is the third round of the season-long Coupe de France-Credit Agricole competition open to French riders, which is currently led by Laurent Jalabert.

Jalabert, who has scratched from today's Milan-San Remo because of his knee injury will of course not be riding this race either. Five riders will take place in the race as individuals: Brochard, Magnien, Martin and Michaelsen (Festina) and Mentheour (Aki).

Cholet-Pays de Loire (Fr, Cat 1.1) March 24

 1. Stephane Heulot (Fr, GAN) 	207km in 	4.59.43
 2. Adriano Baffi (It, Mapei-GB)  		 + 0.54 secs
 3. Laurent Desbiens (Fr, GAN) 
 4. Francis Moreau (Fr, GAN)  			both s.t.
 5. Christophe Rinero (Fr, ForceSud)  		 + 0.56
 6. Bart Leysen (Bel, Mapei-GB)  		 + 1.12
 7. Frederic Guesdon (Fr, Team Polti) 		 + 1.57
 8. Cesary Zamana (Pol, Mrz)  			 + 3.05
 9. Tom Steels (Bel, Mapei-GB)  		 + 5.01
10. Peter Verbeken (Bel, Lotto)
11. Erwin Thijs (Bel, Vlaanderen 2002)  	both s.t.
12. Dominique Arnould (Fr, ForeceSud)  		 + 5.06
13. Eddy Seigneur (Fr, GAN)  			 +12.13
14. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est, Petit Casino-C'est votre equipe) 
15. Wim Van Sevenant (Bel, Vlaanderen 2002)
16. Jacky Durand (Fr, Agrigel-La Creuse)
17. Herve Boussard (Aubervilliers 93-Peugeot)
18. Marc Bouillon (Bel, Cedico)
19. Cedric Vasseur (Fr, GAN)
20. Mika Hietanen (Fin, Cedico)
21. Thierry Marie (Fr, Agrigel-La Creuse) 
22. Charles Guilbert (fr, La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne) all s.t.
23. Christophe Capelle (Fr, ForceSud)  		 +12.33
24. Damien Nazon (Fr, Banesto)  		 +12.37
25. Franck Laurance (Fr, La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne)   s.t.


Stephane Heulot felt himself super-fit before the start and showed it by exploding the peloton with team-mate Francis Moreau after only 46km. The two kept up a modest lead of 30 secs until km75 by when Heulot though they might be on a suicide mission. A reduction of the work oad came in the shape of 12 other riders, including two more GAN, Desbiens and Seigneur (later to be dropped) and three Mapeis -- Baffi,Leysen and Steels. Heulot escaped on the finishing circuit in Cholet, with Desbiens and Moreau skilfully blocking for him behind. Heulot dedicated his victory -- almost two years since his last, in the Circuit de la Sarthe -- to his month-old son Maxime.

Coupe de France

Cholet was the third race in the Coupe de France series open to French riders, and the outcome had GAN packing behind series leader Laurent Jalabert.
1. L. Jalabert (ONCE) 66
2. Heulot (GAN) 50 (+50)
3. Desbiens (GAN) 25 (+25)
4= F. Moreau (GAN) 20 (+20)
4= Capelle (ForceSud) 20
6=  Rinero (ForceSud) 18 (+18)
6=  N. Jalabert (La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne) 18
8= Guesdon (Polti) 14 (+14)
9= Faudot (Vendee U) 14
11. Simon (GAN) 10

Team: GAN

Next Coupe de France event: Tour d'Armorique (at Vitry -- Cat 2.4), April 5