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Photo ©: Schaaf

 UCI codes explained

Polynormand - 1.1

France, July 31, 2005

2004 Results    Results    Past winners

Tour speed for Philippe Gilbert

By Jean-François Quénet in St-Martin-de-Landelle

 

One happy Belgian winner
Photo ©: JF Quenet
Click for larger image

Year after year, cycling reproduces a fact: one week after the end of the Tour de France, a rider who has done it has something extra in his legs than another rider who was only training - even hard - in July. But there is a big need for a special mental strength when it's logical to feel sick of cycling.

Out of the four Tour de France riders who started the Polynormande, two of them finished 1st and 2nd. Before the race, Philippe Gilbert made clear that it wasn't his first choice to be there, but the young Belgian is a top professional. "Being the leader of the French cup and the best young rider of the French cup in a team that leads the team competition, I just had to do it for my sponsor, although I would have preferred to race in Hamburg," he said.

Gilbert, 23, is an ambitious rider. He wants to make it at the highest level. Upon his request, he wasn't scheduled for the Tour de France this year. But after a crash in April while training, he wasn't up for the Giro d'Italia any more. So then he got his first start at the Tour de France instead. He did well, finishing fifth on two occasions: in Mulhouse on Michael Rasmussen's big day and in Pau after climbing the Aubisque. "I'm happy with my debut in the Tour de France but I still think I'm more of a one-day rider," he underlined.

In Normandy, Gilbert scored his fifth win of the year, the two previous ones being legs of the French cup: the Tour du Haut-Var in February and the Trophée des Grimpeurs in May. With A Travers le Morbihan in late May and the Boucles de l'Aulne in late August being cancelled this year due to financial troubles, the French cup only has two races left now, and it will be a battle between Gilbert and Ag2r's Ludovic Turpin at GP of Isbergues and Paris-Bourges.

"I think these races suit me more than him," Gilbert believes.

"For me winning the overall, I need Gilbert not to start," Turpin reckons.

That means the successor of Thor Hushovd will very likely be another great foreigner from a French team.

And took victory
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
Click for larger image

Gilbert attacked from a group of four comprising Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r), Noan Lelarge (Bretagne-Jean Floc'h) and Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) with 35 kilometres to go. The last chance for a group to come across to him collapsed when Leonardo Bertagnolli of Cofidis punctured. "I went with Turpin, but Gilbert had made a clear gap already, I'm not sure if we could have caught him," the Italian admitted.

"Although I knew my advantage was enough, I kept going flat out in case of a puncture who occur for me as well," Gilbert added. "I sat up only at 400 metres to go, to give myself some time to enjoy the victory. Even if I wasn't to keen to come here, a win is always great, and I know how much the cycling enthusiasts are connoisseurs in this part of the world."

That's why the Polynormande attracted a big crowd without big names on the start line. The race was organised by Tour de France speaker Daniel Mangeas in his village of St-Martin-de-Landelle where the start of Karsten Kroon's Bastille Day of glory in Plouay in 2002 was held.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jean-Francois Quenet

Images by Régis Garnier/www.velofotopro.fr.st

Results - 157 km

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux    3.38.39 (43.082 km/h)
2 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r                       0.53
3 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Agritubel                      
4 Angel Castresana SPA MrBookmaker                0.55
5 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis                  
6 Samuel Plouhinec (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h     0.58
7 Yoann Leboulanger (Fra) RAGT                    1.17
8 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Auber 93                         
9 Leonardo Duque (Col) Jartazi                        
10 Johan Coenen (Bel) MrBookmaker                     
11 Carl Naibo (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h              
12 Frédéric Mainguenaud (Fra) Bouygues Telecom        
13 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r                           
14 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Crédit Agricole           
15 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole               
16 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux          
17 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis                    
18 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux                
19 Hubert Dupont (Fra) RAGT                           
20 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h            
21 Christophe Thébault (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h     
22 Christophe Le Mével (Fra) Crédit Agricole          
23 Ben Day (Aus) MrBookmaker                          
24 Laurent Paumier (Fra) MrBookmaker                  
25 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Agritubel               
26 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h         
27 Dimitri Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis                      
28 Maxime Médérel (Fra) Auber 93                      
29 Arnaud Lesvenan (Fra) French national team         
30 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h    1.24
31 Mickaël Malle (Fra) French national team       1.27
32 Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Omnibike                   
33 Mikhail Timochin (Rus) Omnibike                1.31
34 Eric Berthou (Fra) RAGT                        1.35
35 Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Jartazi                 9.02
36 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel                9.47
37 David Bréard (Fra) Auber 93                        
38 Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom               
39 Alex Coutts (GBr) Flanders                         
40 Nicolas Cosbie (Fra) Agritubel                     
41 Camille Bouquet (Fra) MrBookmaker                  
42 Peter Ronsse (Bel) Jartazi                         
43 Viatcheslav Vilkov (Rus) Omnibike                  
44 Robby Meul (Bel) Jartazi                           
45 Benoît Salmon (Fra) Agritubel                      
46 Bingen Fernandez SPA Cofidis                       
47 Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93                        
48 Guillaume Auger (Fra) RAGT                         
49 Antoine Dalibard (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h        
50 Ben Johnson (Aus) Agritubel                        
51 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom         
52 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 93                       
53 Florian Guillou (Fra) French national team         
54 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) French national team        
55 David Lelay (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc’h             
56 Mickaël Delage (Fra) Française des Jeux            
57 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Française des Jeux             
58 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Crédit Agricole              
59 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux             
60 Nicolas Inaudi (Fra) Cofidis                       
61 William Bonnet (Fra) Auber 93                      
62 Igor Abkoumov (Bel) Jartazi                        
63 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux           
64 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2r                          
65 John Nilsson (Swe) Auber 93                        
66 Styn Penne (Bel) Jartazi                           
67 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Crédit Agricole           
68 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole                
69 Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Française des Jeux         
70 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                        
71 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cofidis                        
72 Christophe Diguet (Fra) French national team       
73 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis                        
74 Saul Raisin (USA) Crédit Agricole                  

Coupe de France standings after round 12

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise des Jeux
2 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance

Past Winners

2004 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Brioches la Boulangère  
2003 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) La Boulangère