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Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

29th Trophée des Grimpeurs - 1.3

France, May 4, 2003

2002 Results   Results    Past winners

Rous rules the Grimpeurs roost

By Chris Henry

Didier Rous claimed his second Grimpeurs win
Photo: © Chris Henry/Cyclingnews
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Didier Rous (Brioches La Boulangère) won today's Trophée des Grimpeurs, claiming his second victory in the event and his team's third consecutive win on the challenging circuit around Argenteuil, France. Rous has a good history here, having finished second in 1993, his first year as a professional, and winning in 2001 and 2003. The Brioches La Boulangère team put on another impressive display, keeping the pressure on at the sharp end of the race, and defending Rous' lead from behind once he made his move.

"I attacked just to attack, for the team, to make a selection," Rous explained after his win. "But I found myself alone and nobody joined me, so I decided to continue."

The Trophée des Grimpeurs ("climbers trophy") is an unusual name for a circuit race held on the outskirts of Paris, featuring as the principal difficulty a climb of only 300m. The Côte de l'Ermitage certainly isn't the longest of climbs, nor is it the steepest, but in a race that tackles the 13% rise 16 times over 134km, it's no doubt a hill that hurts. The race is also one whereby the strongest man is by no means guaranteed a win, rather it's the rider who best judges his strength in a race of attrition who often comes out on top.

Climbing the Côte
Photo: © CN
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Under clear blue skies and a strong sun, the race kicked off at an infernal pace. Riders who took some early pre-race tours around the busy streets of Argenteuil were wise, as there was no grace period once the short neutral start was over. The first lap of the 8.3km circuit was covered at an average speed of 46km/h, and the damage was evident. A number of riders were dropped on the very first ascension of the Côte de l'Ermitage, and for some, the race was over almost as quickly as it began. The Barloworld team from South Africa was one victim of the high speeds, losing Hilton Clarke and Ryan Cox on lap one.

In the early stages of the race, an early attack and counter attack joined forces to create a group of some 20 riders, with most of the principal teams and favourites represented. In the move were former Grimpeurs winners Richard Virenque (Quick.Step-Davitamon), Sylvain Chavanel and Didier Rous (Brioches La Boulangère), and other contenders including Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole), Laurent Brochard (Ag2R-Prévoyance), and French national champion Nicolas Vogondy (

Two teams in particular took the race in hand. La Boulangère was clearly motivated, with Emmanuel Magnien and Franck Bouyer providing additional leg power. Another team to make its mark was the Colombian 05 Orbitel team, tipped by many as a force to be reckoned with on the hilly circuit, notably with Hernán Bonilla, and Félix Cárdenas.

On the other hand, Cyclingnews spoke before the start with two riders who are currently looking to regain form after some recent setbacks: Baden Cooke ( and David Millar (Cofidis). The Trophée des Grimpeurs was Millar's second race back after his crash in the Critérium International, and he was clearly happy to be back in the peloton, despite his poor form. "I've recovered physically, I'm just so unfit it's ridiculous," Millar commented. "I hate this course when I'm going well..."

The chase is on
Photo: © CN
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Rous was going well, however, and as the race entered its crucial stage, the former French champion took the initiative to attack the lead group with 6 laps to go, after Moreau, Brochard, and Virenque had dropped off the pace and been relegated to a chase group some 20" behind. With young Jérôme Pineau marking the moves behind, Rous was able to quickly build an advantage which over the next few laps stretched to over two minutes. The chase six man chase featured the following composition: Vogondy, Bonilla, Frank Pencolé (MBK-Oktos), Ludovic Auger (BigMat), Pineau, and Manu L'Hoir (Marlux Wincor). Despite the strength of the group, the chase lacked the organisation required to bring Rous back.

Nevertheless, as the six chasers reached the same conclusion, the activity picked up once more. Nicolas Vogondy did what he could to force the pace, but appeared disappointed at the lack of resolve from his fellow chasers. Meanwhile, behind the first chase, Christophe Moreau put his never say die attitude on display, attacking from the second chase group and closing the gap to the group of six, along with Orbitel's Marlon Pérez.

Didier Rous
Photo: © CN
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In the final lap, Rous still held nearly two minutes on the chasers, a comfortable margin for the short 8.3km circuit. The seconds lost on the final ascent of the Côte de l'Ermitage were of no concern to Rous, who mustered only a short pump of his fist as he crossed the line victorious. Behind, Moreau managed to bridge the gap to the first chase group, as did Pérez, who went one better and attacked before the final climb and crossed the line 5" ahead of Rous' faithful teammate Pineau. In a race designed for climbers, Didier Rous proved once again that it's a 'puncheur' who can take the day.


Images by Chris Henry/Cyclingnews

Images by Peter Geyer from the women's race...

... and the men's

Results - 133.9 km

1 Didier Rous (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère                3.07.53 (42.761 km/h)
2 Marlon Perez (Col) 05 Orbitel                              1.35
3 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère                 1.40
4 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93                     1.43
5 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)                           1.47
6 Franck Pencole (Fra) MBK - Oktos - Saint-Quentin
7 Manu L'hoir (Bel) Marlux - Wincor Nixdorf
8 Hernan Bonilla (Col) 05 Orbitel
9 Christophen Moreau (Fra) Crédit Agricole                   1.56
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel)                         4.07
11 Félix Cardenas (Col) 05 Orbitel                           4.14
12 Carlos Dacruz (Fra)                            6.44
13 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick.Step-Davitamon
14 Javier Zapata (Col) 05 Orbitel
15 Andrey Mizourov (Kaz) MBK - Oktos - Saint-Quentin
16 Carlos Contreras (Col) 05 Orbitel
17 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                    6.51
18 Sébastien Talabardon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93             6.53
19 Maryan Hary (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère                  6.55
20 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Jean Delatour                       6.56
21 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère                7.03
22 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Jean Delatour                        8.38
23 Yasutaka Tashiro (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
24 Sergeï Krushevskiy (Uzb) MBK - Oktos - Saint-Quentin
25 Christophe Rinero (Fra) MBK - Oktos - Saint-Quentin
26 Vincent Templier (Fra) MBK - Oktos - Saint-Quentin        8.44
27 Nicolas Meunier (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93                  8.46
28 Jairo Hernandez (Col) 05 Orbitel                          8.49
29 Erki Pütsep (Est) AG2r Prévoyance
30 David Derepas (Fra)
31 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole
32 Javier Gonzalez (Col) 05 Orbitel
33 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Big Mat - Auber 93
34 Christian Poos (Lux) Marlux - Wincor Nixdorf
35 Hernan Buenahora (Col) 05 Orbitel
36 Anthony Morin (Fra) Crédit Agricole
37 Felix Garcia Casas (Spa) Big Mat - Auber 93
38 David Lefevre (Fra) Jean Delatour
39 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                9.01
40 Takehiro Mizutani (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor           9.05
41 Julien Laidoun (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                      9.15
42 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone    9.18
43 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère
44 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Jean Delatour                        9.21
45 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor         11.57
1 Magali Le Floch (Fra) Equipe Cycliste Rona - Esker      1.35.31
2 Jul. Vandekerckhove (Fra) NPC                              0.27
3 Sandr. Marcuz Moreau (Fra) MPY                             0.30
4 Sonia Huguet (Fra) MOS                                     0.40
5 Aline Camboulives (Fra) GS Mazza                           1.22
6 Karine Dalmais (Fra) JUL                                   1.25
7 Edwidge Pitel (Fra) MAN
8 Laëtitia Belaud (Fra) PDL                                  1.28
9 Nadia Triquet (Fra) HUR                                    1.30
10 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) MPY                               1.35
11 Zla Gavlakova Bazola (Svk) GER                            2.37
12 Corinne Sempe (Fra) AQU                                   2.45
13 Alexandra Le Henaff (Fra) QUI
14 Vicky Fournial (Fra) PIC
15 Diana Rast (Swi) GS Mazza
16 Stéphanie Reymond (Fra) JUL
17 Sylvie Riedle (Fra) MOS                                   2.51
18 Jea. Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) MAN
19 Delphine Guille (Fra) PDL
20 Stéphanie Denuit (Fra) BOU
21 Eli. Chevanne Brunel (Fra) AQU
22 Blandine Camus (Fra) GS Mazza                             2.57
23 Susan Smith (Can) AFF
24 Carol. Payot Podevin (Fra) GS Mazza
25 Alna Burato (Fra) JUL
26 Catherine Marsal (Fra) Equipe Cycliste Rona - Esker
27 Martine Gauthier (Fra) NIV
28 Claire Antomarchi (Fra) POM
29 Emilie Harmand (Fra) HUR
30 Géraldine Gill (Irl) QUT                                  3.09
31 Virginie Jacob (Fra) JUL                                  3.13
32 Mélanie Morenvillez (Fra) PIC                             3.15
33 Elodie Touffet (Fra) PDL                                  3.23
34 Marion Clignet (Fra) CAS                                  3.33
35 Sandrine Le Berre (Fra) MPY                               4.49
36 Bridget Evans (Aus) BRI                                   4.59
37 Aude Pollet (Fra) CHC                                     6.51
38 Sophie Evrard (Fra) NOG                                   6.56
39 E. Mermillod Anselme (Fra) HSA                            6.58
40 Béatrice Thomas (Fra) GS Mazza                            7.04
41 M. Laloux Notebaert (Fra) NPC
42 Emilie Belmontet (Fra) VCC
43 Julie Hutsebaut (Can) IDF
44 Magali Simonot (Fra) BOU                                  7.10
45 Laurence Ayer (Fra) IDF                                   8.33
46 Karine Gautard (Fra) LIV                                 10.07
47 Séver. Desmarchelier (Fra) ORL
48 Katherine White (Can) HVA                                10.11
49 Nath. Tirard Collet (Fra) HSA
50 Angélique Saldana (Fra) MPY
51 Marie Pommard (Fra) CHC
52 Stephanie Decamps (Fra) NPC                              10.15
53 Marie Aline Bera (Fra) BOU
54 Bénédicte Guillot (Fra) ORL                              10.20
55 Sylvie Duquenne (Fra) PIC
56 Jennyfer Schirra (Fra) MOS
57 Delphine Tonini (Fra) MPY                                10.28
58 Magali Finot Laivier (Fra) BOU                           10.34
59 Marie Laure Cloarec (Fra) IDF                            10.39
60 Aude Vaxelaire (Fra) HUR                                 13.56
61 Alexandra Borruto (Fra) HSA
62 Fanny Riberot (Fra) JUL
63 Ludivine Loze (Fra) MPY
64 Cindy Morvan (Fra) NPC
65 Stéphanie Gros (Fra) GER                                 14.03
66 Elisabeth Coupel (Fra) ORL
67 Odile Carre (Fra) CAS
68 Maureen Guichardot (Fra) ORG                             14.08
69 Laetitia Fumey (Fra) ORN
70 Joëlle Michelet (Fra) IDF                                14.14
71 Céline Mazuez (Fra) CHC                                  14.17
72 Geneviève Gagnon (Can) HVA
73 Je. Dehaas Boissiere (Fra) JUL                           14.20
74 Gwen Oster (Fra) AQU
75 Christine Pain (Fra) JUL                                 14.26
76 Maryline Antonelli (Fra) MOS                             14.38
77 Ophélie Ambroise (Fra) ORL                               14.44
78 Jennifer Favier (Fra) NPC                                14.52
79 Aline Parsy (Fra) NPC                                    15.15
80 Karine Paillet (Fra) IDF
81 Sabrina Pozza (Fra) CAS                                  16.41
82 Céline Hamelin (Fra) MEA                                 21.01
83 Audrey Descamps (Fra) AQU                                23.09
84 Sylvie Levillain (Fra) MTY                               28.33
85 Anne Morice (Fra) COC                                    35.54
86 Solenne Plisson (Fra) GER                                37.23
87 Franþoise Larcon (Fra) PIE                               37.36
88 Valérie Grevin (Fra) PIE                                 41.36

Past winners

2002 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Bonjour 
2001 Didier Rous (Fra) Bonjour 132.8 kms in 3.07.57
2000 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour 133.3 kms in 3.07.32
1999 Laurent Roux (Fra) Casino 133.3 kms in 3.09.47
1998 Pascal Hervé (Fra) 133.3 kms in 3.14.03
1997 Davide Rebellin (Ita)
1996 Stéphane Heulot
1995 Armand de las Cuevas (Fra)
1994 Richard Virenque (Fra)

Past winners courtesy of Mario Stiehl,