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18th Route Adélie - 1.3
Vitré, France, April 2, 2004
Geslin takes pressure off La Boulangère
By Jean-François Quénet in Vitré
Since Jean-René Bernaudeau created the Bonjour team, now called La Boulangère, he never experienced such a poor start to the season, with only one win - by Jérôme Pineau in Costa de Almeria - in two months. Was it the Beloki effect? The balance of the team has been completely transformed with the addition of the Spaniard, but his comeback at the Criterium International last week end may have brought the confidence back into the squad. At least Anthony Geslin has boosted the morale with a well deserved win.
2nd in the GP Ouest-France (H.C.) last year, Geslin was still chasing his first big pro win. "I had a consistent season including the Tour de France but I was missing the joy of winning, he declared after crossing the line. This year, I felt good since Milan-San Remo. Now this victory takes some pressure off." It's a relief for La Boulangère since their arch rivals from Fdjeux.com have scored eight wins so far.
There was another very hungry French rider in the breakaway: Franck Pencolé of Oktos. He's the man who created the decisive move with 40km to go. "I wanted revenge because our team has been kicked out of Paris-Camembert, my 'home' race," he said. Oktos isn't welcome anymore in some French races because of their directeur sportif Oleg Kozlitine being involved in the Gaumont affair.
When Pencolé attacked, Andrei Kashechkin of Crédit Agricole was the only rider from the early 13 man breakaway left in front. The new group of seven also included Sergio Marinangeli (Domina Vacanze), Pierrick Fedrigo (Crédit Agricole), Anthony Geslin (La Boulangère), Christophe Edaleine (Cofidis) and Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi). Edaleine was the first to be dropped with 12km to go, then Kashechkin with 5 km to go after sacrificing himself for Fedrigo.
"I was very pleased to see that we had a few riders in all the moves today," Credit Agricole director Denis Roux explained. Roux came on stage to receive the French cup leader's sign in the name of Thor Hushovd, who now focuses on Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix, before returning to the French national circuit at the GP Denain (April 15th).
Bertolini attacked within the last kilometre and it was another Italian, Marinangeli, who chased him down. "This sprint started from so long out," Marinangeli described. "I was forced to work and a few guys passed me after catching Bertolini. Then I overtook all of them except from the winner."
Geslin was smart to sit on Fedrigo's wheel until 200 metres to go. Both Geslin and Marinangeli are fast up and coming riders, aged only 23. Marinangeli is only starting his career, since he hardly competed last year, taking part in only seven races at the end of the season. In February in Malaysia, he broke his hip in a sprint in Butterworth where stage 1 of Le Tour de Langkawi finished. He had to stay in hospital for a while and was assisted by the riders association president Francesco Moser, who was visiting the event. "I'll never thank Moser enough for what he did for me", Marinangeli said.
It looks like the Domina Vacanze rider is close to a win.
Images by Georges Mesnager
Images by Melanie Leveau/Cyclingnews.com
Images by www.velofotopro.fr.st
1 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Brioches la Boulangère 4.21.25 2 Sergio Marinangeli (Ita) Domina Vacanze 3 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Crédit Agricole 4 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 5 Franck Pencole (Fra) Oktos-Saint Quentin 0.08 6 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans 0.18 7 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Crédit Agricole 0.24 8 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf 1.06 9 Björn Leukemans (Bel) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans 10 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJeux.com 1.08 11 Lenaic Olivier (Fra) Auber 93 12 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) RAGT 13 Franck Bouyer (Fra) La Boulangère 14 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Fdjeux.com 15 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2r 16 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Auber 93 17 Andre Noè (Ita) Alessio 18 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Auber 93 19 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) French national team 1.12 20 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Domina Vacanze 21 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole 22 Christophe Rinero (Fra) RAGT 23 Martin Derganc (Slo) Domina Vacanze 24 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis 25 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Fdjeux.com 26 Laurent Paumier (Fra) Auber 93 27 Didier Rous (Fra) La Boulangère 28 Jan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r 1.14 29 Paolo Valoti (Ita) Domina Vacanze 30 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole 1.16 31 Antonio Salomone (Ita) Team Barloworld 32 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis 33 Claus Michael Möller (Dk) Alessio 34 Kirk O’Bee (USA) Navigators 35 Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Team Barloworld 36 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Oktos 37 Kyrylo Pospeyev (Ukr) Acqua e Sapone 1.27 38 Walter Bénéteau (Fra) La Boulangère 1.35 39 Guillaume Auger (Fra) RAGT 40 Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Oktos 41 Jean-Michel Tessier (Fra) Oktos 42 John Nilsson (Swe) Auber 93 43 Andrei Mizourov (Kaz) Oktos 44 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Cofidis 45 David Bréard (Fra) Auber 93 46 Loïc Lamouller (Fra) Auber 93 47 Frédéric Gabriel (Fra) MrBookmaker 48 Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators 49 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Team Barloworld 50 John Gadret (Fra) Chocolate Jacques 51 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2r 52 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Fdjeux.com 53 Maryan Hary (Fra) La Boulangère 54 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 55 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r 3.02 56 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r 3.05 57 Francesco Failli (Fra) Domina Vacanze 4.39 58 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2r 5.25 59 Benoît Salmon (Fra) Crédit Agricole 60 Hubert Dupont (Fra) French national team 6.55 61 Fabien Sanchez (Fra) Fdjeux.com 7.18 62 Sébastien Duret (Fra) French national team 63 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Fdjeux.com 64 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r 8.06 65 Stéphane Bergès (Fra) Ag2r 66 Saulius Ruskys (Ltu) Oktos-Saint Quentin
Coupe de France standings