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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

29th Cholet-Pays De Loire - 1.1

France, March 19, 2006

2005 Results    Results    Past winners

C.J. Sutton, what a shock!

By Jean-François Quénet in Cholet

Chris Sutton (Cofidis)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

A bunch sprint win was expected from Baden Cooke, but a young Australian neo pro took the glory from him in only his third professional race: Chris "C.J." Sutton! He's 21, racing for Cofidis, and surprised everyone today.

One week ago, after beginning his career at the Three Days of West Flanders, Sutton had no clue that his name was on the start list for Cholet-Pays de Loire. He got to know it on Wednesday after the Nokere Koerse. "It's good to be here," a smiling Sutton said on the start line. He was obviously happy to compete against some of the big guns, but he honestly didn't intend to beat them all.

"I started feeling very good with 50 kilometres to go," he explained. "Then it came to a bunch sprint. The last kilometre was really dangerous. I thought I was going to crash but I got through. Unibet was doing a perfect job for Baden Cooke so I went on his wheel and I sprinted down the left. Beating these guys is unbelievable. This is a dream come true. Baden Cooke is one of the best sprinters in the world!"

The new Australian generation seems to be just as flashy as the previous one. It's been a long process for Sutton to be able to show what he's able to do under the colours of Cofidis, though. One year ago, he was promised a contract after becoming the Australian U23 national champion in front of veteran DS Bernard Quilfen from Cofidis. Coming from the New South Wales Institute of Sport and guided by his father Gary, a world champion in the points race in 1980, and sponsored by Française des Jeux and Bradley McGee at the same time as finishing his apprenticeship as a house builder with Brad's elder brother Andrew, "C.J." rode in Italy with the Australian Institute of Sport and won the GP Liberazione in April. He briefly joined Cofidis' feeding team AVC Aix in France, but as no professional contract was becoming concrete, he decided to follow Stuart O'Grady and Matt White to Sony-Ericsson.When that team fell through and after his 5th place at the U23 world championship he was welcomed back to Cofidis. Team manager Éric Boyer doesn't regret his choice now.

A big throw from Sutton
Photo ©: Daniel Schamps
(Click for larger image)

Sutton was supposed to begin in Tour of Qatar in January after a training camp in France. But he had to fly back to Australia instead because of missing a working visa. When he finally returned, the 2006 season had started without him; that's why his win in Cholet is something exceptional. Not only did he beat the Belgian sprinters of Chocolade Jacques, who placed Nico Eeckhout in second, and, who had a super lead out man with Frank Vandenbroucke for Jeremy Hunt (10th) and Cooke (5th), but he did it without all the racing the other guys were more fortunate to have in their legs after two months of competition.

Sutton is not a typical sprinter. He's been a junior world champion for team pursuit. He's a hard worker who can go fast. He'll go far.

How it unfolded

A message for Franck Bouyer
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

After 25 kilometres, the two French specialists of the long life breakaways took off: Éric Leblacher (Française des Jeux) and Stéphane Bergès (Agritubel). As the peloton didn't react for a long time, they reached more than 11 minutes lead. For the first three hours, the speed didn't exceed 37 km/h.

Bouygues Telecom and Crédit Agricole took up the chase. As Leblacher was dropping off Bergès after winning all the king of the mountain sprints, Cédric Vasseur attacked in between the bunch and the man alone away. With 50km to go, the whole team rode hard in front of the pack. Vandenbroucke's effort in the côte des Gardes with 40km was very impressive.

Leblacher got caught before coming back to Cholet with 25km to go. A trio formed of Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux), Éric Berthou (Caisse d'Épargne-Illes Balears) and Nicolas Vogondy (Crédit Agricole) entered the final circuit with 36 seconds advantage. They never got more. A bunch sprint was inevitable. Chris Sutton came 1st, Nico Eeckhout 2nd and Lilian Jégou 3rd.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Régis Garnier/

Images by Daniel Schamps

Results - 202 km

1 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Cofidis                                       
2 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                                  
3 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                  
4 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                                    
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Unibet.Com                                           
6 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                                      
7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                   
8 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile                                   
9 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Auber 93                                             
10 Jeremy Hunt (Gbr) Unibet.Com                                          
11 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                                   
12 Charles Huff Bradley (USA) Team TIAA-CREF                             
13 Jos Pronk (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert                                    
14 Martin Pedersen (Den) Team CSC                                        
15 Sven Renders (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                          
16 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93                                         
17 Sébastien Portal (Fra) Credit Agricole                                
18 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                           
19 René Mandri (Fra) Auber 93                                            
20 Robby Meul (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile                                      
21 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic                          
22 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française Des Jeux                               
23 Chad Hartley (USA) Team TIAA-CREF                                     
24 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                   
25 Santo Anza (Ita) Selle Italia - Serramenti Diquigiovanni              
26 Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                       
27 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Jartazi-7Mobile                                
28 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                        
29 Iza Leonet Iker (Spa) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                       
30 Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Française Des Jeux                            
31 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                            
32 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                        
33 Leonardo Duque (Fra) Cofidis                                          
34 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel                                    
35 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole                                  
36 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Credit Agricole                                
37 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile                               
38 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                                   
39 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Agritubel                                  
40 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                           
41 Moises Duenas (Spa) Agritubel                                         
42 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis                                           
43 Jean Mespoulede (Fra) Auber 93                                        
44 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                                          
45 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                    
46 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Agritubel                                       
47 Marcel Beima (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert                                 
48 Larsen Kasper Klostergaard (Den) Team CSC                             
49 Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93                                           
50 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                               
51 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                           
52 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Cofidis                                       
53 Cédric Herve (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                               
54 Antoine Dalibard (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                           
55 Camille Bouquet (Fra) Unibet.Com                                      
56 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Selle Italia - Serramenti Diquigiovanni         
57 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Selle Italia - Serramenti Diquigiovanni    
58 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                               
59 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                   
60 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel                                       
61 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                            
62 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                                   
63 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis                                          
64 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole                                 
65 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                               
66 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Unibet.Com                                  
67 Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                              
68 Stéphane Berges (Fra) Agritubel                                       
69 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Quick Step - Innergetic                          
70 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                          
71 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                
72 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC                                           
73 Eric Leblacher (Fra) Française Des Jeux                               
74 Alexei Markov (Rus) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                         
75 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux                            
76 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                                     
77 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                         
78 Christian Müller (Ger) Team CSC                                       
79 Koen Barbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                                    
80 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                        
81 Geert Omloop (Bel) Unibet.Com                                         
82 Jens Renders (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                                  
83 Eric Berthou (Fra) Caisse D`Epargne-Illes B.                          
84 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic                      
85 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Credit Agricole                                 
86 Boulanger Le (Fra) Yoann Bouygues Telecom                             
87 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Elk Haus - Simplon                             
88 Jarno Van Mingeroet (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile                             
89 Ruben Lorca (Spa) 3 Molinos Resort                                    
90 Vytautas Kaupas (Lit) Jartazi-7Mobile                                 
91 Yohan Cauquil (Fra) Jartazi-7Mobile                                   
92 Harald Totschnig (Aut) Elk Haus - Simplon                             
93 Stefan Rucker (Aut) Elk Haus - Simplon                                
94 Piotr Zielinski (Pol) Bretagne-Jean Floc`H                            
95 Mads Kaggestad (Nor) Credit Agricole                                  
96 Florian Morizot (Fra) Auber 93                                        
97 Philippe Schnyder (Swi) Selle Italia - Serramenti Diquigiovanni       
98 John Nilsson (Swe) Auber 93                                           
99 Evert Verbist (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                                 
100 Jesus Buendia (Spa) 3 Molinos Resort                                 
101 Julio Garcia (Spa) 3 Molinos Resort                                  
102 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Française Des Jeux                               
103 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Unibet.Com                                      
104 David Boucher (Fra) Unibet.Com                                       
105 Eloy Teruel (Spa) 3 Molinos Resort                                   
106 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic                      
107 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step - Innergetic                            
108 Jochen Summer (Aut) Elk Haus - Simplon                               
109 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93                                        
110 Carl Naibo (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                                     
111 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                              
112 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                      
113 Christophe Kern (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                               
114 Brian Vandborg (Den) Team CSC                                        
115 Danny Pate (USA) Team TIAA-CREF                                      


1 Fanny Riberot (Fra) Team Pro du Genevois 
2 Aude Pollet (Fra) Team Pro du Genevois 
3 Nathalie Jeuland (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 

Courtesy of

Past winners

2005 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues 202 kms in 4.41.17 (43.088 km/h)
2004 Bert De Waele (Bel)             202 kms in 5.09.07 (39.208 km/h)
2003 Christophe Mengin (Fra) FDJeux  202 kms in 4.54.04 (41.215 km/h)
2002 Jimmy Casper (Fra)   202 kms in 4.55.23 (40.218 km/h)
2001 Florent Brard (Fra) Festina     202 kms in 4.56.59 (40.810 km/h)
2000 Jens Voigt (Ger)                202 kms in 4.52.13 (41.065 km/h)
1999 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino	     202 kms in 5.03.32 (39.925 km/h)
1998 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino	     202 kms in 5.09.20 (39.181 km/h)
1997 Jann Kirsipuu (Est)             202 kms in 4.56.25
1996 Stéphan Heulot (Fra)            207 kms in 4.59.43
1995 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)	     207 kms in 5.08.45
1994 Laurent Madouas (Fra)           207 kms in 5.26.59
1993 Marc Bouillon (Fra)             209 kms in 5.16.31
1992 Laurent Desbiens (Fra)          205 kms in 5.19.16
1991 Sammie Moreels (Bel)            205 kms in 5.12.03
1990 Kim Andersen (Den)              200 kms in 5.03.59
1989 Frank Boucanville (Fra)         238 kms in 6.24.53
1988 Patrick Onnockx (Bel)           241 kms in 6.33.46
1987 Frédéric Garnier (Fra)          239 kms in 6.23.33
1986 Domenique Lecrocq (Fra)         237 kms in 6.17.44
1985 Marc Madiot (Fra)               236 kms in 6.28.36
1984 Pascal Poisson (Fra)            233 kms in 5.55.10
1983 Eric Dall'Armellina (Fra)
1982 Pierre Bazzo (Fra)              220 kms in 5.24.37
1981 Roger Legeay (Fra)
1980 Roger Legeay (Fra)
1979 Pierre Bazzo (Fra)
1978 Jacques Bossis (Fra)


In 1987 and 1989 it was called GP Cholet-Mauleon
From 1990, it took the name of GP Cholet-Pays de Loire
Between 1982-86 and 1988 the race was known as Mauleon - Moulins.

Past winners by Mario Stiehl,