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Tour du Finistère - 1.1
France, April 16, 2005
First big one for Simon Gerrans
By Jean-François Quénet in Quimper
Simon Gerrans has had one race in his mind for the last month and he won it: the Tour du Finistère, newly upgraded to the 1.1 category. "This is the kind of race I had the chance of winning last year when I rode as an amateur in the west part of France, I knew the course would be good for me," the Victorian said. He already showed good condition when he finished 8th in the Brabantse Pijl in Belgium and he came 4th in the Circuit des Ardennes overall last weekend.
He didn't choose the easiest way to win the Tour du Finistère: on the first climb located after 18 kilometres, he followed the acceleration made by Anthony Charteau of Bouygues Telecom. Another nine riders formed the front group: Francesco Bellotti (Crédit Agricole), Jonas Holmkvist and Kasper Sowinski (Amore e Vita), Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux), Yuri Trofimov (Dynamo Moscow), Nicolas Roche (Cofidis), Ben Day (MrBookmaker), Eddy Seigneur (RAGT) and Yann Pivois (Bretagne-Jean Floc'h). They never had more than 2 minutes lead, but the only rider able to bridge the gap by himself on the final circuit was David Moncoutié (Cofidis).
Charteau, Vaugrenard and Trofimov broke clear with 17km to go, then Gerrans came across with Moncoutié. The Australian was dropped in the final hill, but he was extremely courageous to come back and he attacked them straight away with 500 metres to go. "This is my first real pro win and it makes me very happy," he said.
The town of his victory is actually the same where his first mentor Phil Anderson won a stage of the Tour de France in 1991. Anderson was the man who put the young Gerrans on the bike in their village of Jamison, Victoria, after he crashed during his moto-cross career. Gerrans started cycling when he was 18 and first turned pro with Norwegian outfit Team Ringerike in 2003, before riding the Tour de l'Avenir with Portuguese Carvalelhos-Boavista. Since he couldn't secure a pro contract, he won eight races as an amateur in France for Team U Nantes-Atlantique last year, and a stage of Herald Sun Tour as well. His results were mentioned by Vincent Lavenu of Ag2r who said, "It's our first experience with an Australian rider and we are extremely happy with him."
Gerrans now aims at starting the Tour de France for the first time this year. By beating no less than last year's stage winner Moncoutié, he has showed that he deserves a spot in July.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jean-Francois Quenet
Images by Régis Garnier/www.velofotopro.fr.st
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r Prevoyance 4.18.27 (40.696 km/h) 2 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 3 Yuri Trofimov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 4 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0.04 6 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 0.18 7 Francisco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole 8 Ben Day (Aus) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 9 Jonas Holmkvist (Swe) Amore & Vita-Beretta-Polska 10 Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 11 Frédéric Bichot (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0.24 12 Leonardo Duque (Col) Jartazi Granville Team 0.27 13 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Jartazi Granville Team 14 Artur Krzeszowiec (Pol) Amore & Vita-Beretta-Polska 15 Lénaïc Olivier (Fra) Agritubel 16 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 17 Maxim Karpatchev (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 18 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole 19 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 20 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole 21 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux 22 René Schild (Ger) Team Comnet-Senges 23 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Amore & Vita-Beretta-Polska 24 Christofer Stevenson (Swe) Swedish National Team 0.32 25 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole 26 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 27 Mikail Timoshin (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 28 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 93 0.34 29 Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Jartazi Granville Team 0.36 30 Andrey Pchelkin (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 31 Laurent Paumier (Fra) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 0.38 32 Andreas Johansson (Swe) Swedish National Team 33 Carl Naibo (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 34 Lucas Persson (Swe) Swedish National Team 35 John Nilsson (Swe) Auber 93 36 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Flanders 37 Alex Coutts (GBr) Flanders 38 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2r Prevoyance 0.43 39 Franck Dressler (Ger) Team Comnet-Senges 40 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 41 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93 42 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 0.46 43 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.48 44 Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Française Des Jeux 0.53 45 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 46 Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93 47 Kurt Van De Wouver (Bel) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 48 Julien Laidoun (Fra) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 49 Maryan Hary (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 50 René Obst (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 51 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) R.A.G.T. Semences 52 Eddy Seigneur (Fra) R.A.G.T. Semences 53 David Boucher (Fra) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 1.07 54 Kristof Trouve (Bel) Mrbookmaker.com-Sports Tech 55 Yasutaka Tashiro (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 1.10 56 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 1.15 57 Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu) Jartazi Granville Team 58 Martin Nyman (Swe) Swedish National Team 59 Mikhail Mikheev (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 60 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Credit Agricole 61 Marc Staelen (Fra) Agritubel 62 Eric Berthou (Fra) R.A.G.T. Semences 1.22 63 Julian Dean (NZl) Credit Agricole 1.35 64 Norbert Poels (Ned) Fondas Imabo Doorisol Team 1.40 65 Daniel Musiol (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 66 Ivan Terenine (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 1.54 67 Evgeny Sokolov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow 2.06 68 Carlos Dacruz (Fra) Française Des Jeux 2.17 69 Pierre Drancourt (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 2.26 70 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 71 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r Prevoyance 2.34 72 Antoine Dalibard (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 2.36 73 Mateusz Mroz (Pol) Amore & Vita-Beretta-Polska 2.48 74 Shinji Suzuki (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor 3.09 75 David Harrigan (Aus) Flanders 3.33
2004 Daniele Balestri (Ita) ICET 2003 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) Fdjeux.com 2002 David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Carvalhelhos-Boavista 2001 Franck Renier (Fra) Bonjour 2000 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole 1999 Laurent Estadieu (Fra) 1998 Franck Trottel (Fra) 1997 Walter Beneteau (Fra) 1996 Camille Coualan (Fra) 1995 Michel Lallouet (Fra) 1994 Pascal Deramé (Fra) 1993 (2) Domenique Le Bon (Fra) 1992 Pierre-Henry Menthéour (Fra) 1991 Domenique Le Bon (Fra) 1990 Philippe Mondory (Fra) 1989 (2) Philippe Dalibard (Fra) 1988 Pierre Le Bigaut (Fra) 1987 Philippe Dalibard (Fra) 1986 Jean-Jacques Lamour (Fra)