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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

35th Tour de Vendée - 1.1

France, May 25, 2006

2005 Results    Results    Past winners

Gaztañaga ATOMizes them all!

By Jean-François Quénet in La Roche-sur-Yon

Here he is...
Photo ©: Jean-Francois Quenet
(Click for larger image)

Mikel Gaztañaga of the Colombian-registered continental team ATOM has created a huge surprise by winning the Tour de Vendée ahead of Jimmy Casper of Cofidis. Most of all, he has beaten the whole Bouygues Telecom that was racing on home soil and was always in a favorable situation until...150 metres to go, when Thomas Voeckler and Bretagne-Jean Floc’h’s Cédric Hervé were caught by the whole bunch.

The 26-year-old Gaztañaga hails from Itsasondo, a village in the Basque Country located 40 kilometres from San Sebastian, which has produced riders like Jokin Mugica and Aitor Garmendia. He raced with Cafés Baquè previously and got to ride the 2003 Tour de l’Avenir at the service of David Lopez who joined Euskaltel. This is his first year with ATOM, the Colombian-registered, American continental team based in the Basque country and sponsored by an industrial vehicles company from Llogroño.

“My aim is to join Euskaltel, the team of my heart and my country, but coming and racing in France would be just as good, as long as it is for a squad with a higher level programme”, a satisfied Gaztañaga explained. He scored his second win this year after a stage of the Tour of Madrid. “I also got six second places but I got sick of that," he said. "It was time for me to win for good, but I didn’t expect it would happen in such a big race.”

CJ Sutton trying to come across
Photo ©: Jean-Francois Quenet
(Click for larger image)

Gaztañaga knew that Vendée was the home of Bouygues Telecom. “Vendée is written on their jersey and some Basque riders like Unai Yus have ridden for them before, so I knew who they were, how motivated they were, and I just had to hide myself all day. It was a total surprise for me to win, because I didn’t even know the two guys away had been caught. I only realized when Jimmy Casper asked if I thought I was the winner or if he was,” said the Spaniard.

For sure this was a big defeat for Bouygues Telecom but they obviously didn’t want to risk a loss against the Breton continental team of Jean Floc’h. Hervé looked really good with one lap to go and Voeckler didn’t help him much afterwards. Another disappointed squad was Française des Jeux, because Lilian Jégou spent a lot of energy in the front all day but crashed twice, including one at a few hundred metres to go, thus he lost his lead in the French cup to Lloyd Mondory who run fourth and will host the next leg, the Polynormande, on July 30th, close the town of Granville where he lives in Normandy.

How it unfolded

Fellas, I'm afraid
Photo ©: Jean-Francois Quenet
(Click for larger image)

Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) was the first man in action and soon, Piotr Zielinski of Bretagne-Jean Floc’h showed that he was interested in winning the hot spot sprints, which he did at the end. A total of 22 riders went away at km 60: Ian McLeod, Lilian Jégou, Mathieu Ladagnous and Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux), Laszlo Bodrogi (Crédit Agricole), Cédric Hervé, Sébastien Duret, Zielinski and Yann Pivois (Bretagne-Jean Floc’h), Bessy, Jimmy Casper and Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Cofidis), Walter Bénéteau, Vincent Jérôme and Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), Mathieu Drujon and Maxime Médérel (Auber 93), Lloyd Mondory and Erki Pütsep (Ag2r), Gilles Canouet and Mickaël Buffaz (Agritubel) and Gianluca Geremia (Ceramica Flaminia). They gained more than two minutes lead, but Crédit Agricole and Jartazi chased hard. They were rejoined at km 120, except for Buffaz who persisted, and Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) who jumped away from the bunch and rejoined him.

Buffaz and Gerrans were reinforced by Jonas Ljungblad (, Bodrogi and Mark Renshaw (Crédit Agricole), Geoffroy Lequatre (Cofidis), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Niels Brouzes (Auber 93), Pütsep, Freddy Bichot (Française des Jeux), Robert Haynes (Jartazi) and Vladislav Borisov (Omnibike). From that group, Voeckler and Bichot went away as the race went on the course of next month's French championship race in Chantonnay (km 138).

With 50km to go, another star from Bouygues Telecom took off - Pineau, with a group of 17 behind him, including Bodrogi, Hervé, Lequatre and CJ Sutton (Cofidis), Bénéteau, Pierrick Fedrigo, Didier Rous and Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Brouzes and Médérel, Stéphane Goubert, Pütsep and Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), Jégou, Bichot and Ladagnous, also Nicolas Crosbie (Agritubel). That group split in two with 40km to go, then Voeckler and Hervé went away with less than 20km to go. They looked like going for the win in the last lap of 4.2km but got caught 150 metres before the line, and Mikel Gaztañaga (ATOM) outsprinted Casper for the win.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jean-Francois Quenet

Results - 201 km

1 Mikel Echeverria Gaztanaga (Spa) Atom          4.53.46 (41.032km/h)
2 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Cofidis                            
3 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole               
4 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance                   
5 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe)                      
6 Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra) Francaise des Jeux            
7 Lénaïc Olivier (Fra) Agritubel                        
8 Cédric Herve (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h            
9 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Francaise des Jeux                
10 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h    
11 Kristof Szczawinski (Pol) Ceramica Flaminia          
12 John Nilsson (Swe) Auber 97                          
13 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 97                        
14 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance              
15 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom               
16 Viacheslav Vilkov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow       
17 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Cofidis                      
18 Benoît Sinner (Fra) Agritubel                        
19 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                 
20 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang             
21 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom              
22 Robert Hamish Haynes (Gbr) Jartazi-7 Mobile          
23 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Credit Agricole               
24 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang              
25 Jean Mespoulede (Fra) Auber 97                   0.10
26 Graziano Gasparre (Ita) Amore Vita-McDonald's    0.12
27 Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Francaise des Jeux        
28 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbowkrediet                   
29 Sébastien Duret (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h    0.14
30 Kevin Van Der Slagmolen (Bel) Jartazi-7 Mobile       
31 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis              0.16
32 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                   
33 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Cofidis                     
34 Yann Pivois (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h        0.18
35 Maxim Rudenko (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia                
36 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Landbowkrediet             
37 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 97                        
38 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom               
39 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis                     0.21
40 Mikel Fernandez Elgezabal (Spa) Atom             0.25
41 Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow       
42 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Agritubel                       
43 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel                   
44 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Agritubel                      
45 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis                          
46 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Ceramica Flaminia            
47 Piotr Zielinski (Pol) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h        
48 Adriano Angeloni (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia             
49 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance                 
50 Giovanny Baez (Col) Atom                             
51 Simon Gerrans (Aus) AG2R-Prevoyance                  
52 Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance                  
53 Benjamin Johnson (Aus) Agritubel                     
54 Stéphane Petilleau (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h     
55 Sven Nevens (Bel) Jartazi-7 Mobile                   
56 Thierry Groote De (Bel) Jartazi-7 Mobile             
57 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Francaise des Jeux                  
58 Gilles Canouet (Fra) Agritubel                       
59 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                   0.45
60 Alejandro Diego Tamayo Martinez (Col) Atom       0.46
61 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole             0.48
62 Bjorn Hoeben (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert                
63 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Francaise des Jeux          0.51
64 Johan Coenen (Bel)                        
65 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 97                     0.55
66 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom               0.57
67 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom              
68 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance               
69 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Agritubel             1.04
70 Mathieu Heijboer (Ned) Cofidis                   1.22
71 Erki Pütsep (Est) AG2R-Prevoyance                1.25
72 Gideon Jong De (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert          1.50
73 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Francaise des Jeux           2.13
74 Ian Mcleod (Rsa) Francaise des Jeux              2.19
75 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Auber 97                       2.38
76 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow         
77 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Francaise des Jeux            2.57
78 Maarten Nijland (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert         3.28
79 Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbowkrediet          5.07
80 Drasutis Stundzia (Ltu)               7.36
DNF Camille Bouquet (Fra)                     
DNF Frédéric Gabriel (Fra)                    
DNF Bobbie Traksel (Ned)                      
DNF Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel)                  
DNF Anthony Charteau (Fra) Credit Agricole               
DNF Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Credit Agricole                  
DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                  
DNF Sébastien Portal (Fra) Credit Agricole               
DNF Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h       
DNF Noan Lelarge (Fra) GS Bretagne Jean Floc'h           
DNF Vincent Jerome (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                
DNF Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                  
DNF Benoit Emilien Berges (Fra) Auber 97                 
DNF Florian Morizot (Fra) Auber 97                       
DNF David Chica Navas (Spa) AG2R-Prevoyance              
DNF Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Landbowkrediet                 
DNF Sjef Wilde De (Bel) Landbowkrediet                   
DNF David Verheyen (Bel) Landbowkrediet                  
DNF Yohan Cauquil (Fra) Jartazi-7 Mobile                 
DNF Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Jartazi-7 Mobile             
DNF Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu) Jartazi-7 Mobile               
DNF Jan Soetens (Bel) Jartazi-7 Mobile                   
DNF Stefano Boggia (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia               
DNF Gianluca Geremia (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia             
DNF Massimiliano Martella (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia        
DNF Hubert Krys (Pol) Ceramica Flaminia                  
DNF Daniele Batte Di (Ita) Amore Vita-McDonald's         
DNF Simone Guidi (Ita) Amore Vita-McDonald's             
DNF Jakub Lorek (Pol) Amore Vita-McDonald's              
DNF Christopher Stevenson (Swe) Amore Vita-McDonald's    
DNF Artur Krol (Pol) Amore Vita-McDonald's               
DNF Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang               
DNF Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang           
DNF Kazuo Inoue (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang                  
DNF So Tanaka (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang                    
DNF Junya Sano (Jpn) Cycling Team Vang                   
DNF David Iniguez Perez (Spa) Atom                       
DNF Jesus De Arlés Tavares Carvajal (Col) Atom           
DNF Gaizka Larraya Lasa (Spa) Atom                       
DNF Carlos Andres Ibanez Gonzalez (Col) Atom             
DNF Alexey Shmidt (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow           
DNF Alexey Bauer (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow            
DNF Vasily Khatuntsev (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow       
DNF Juha-Matti Alaluusua (Fin) Procomm-Van Hemert        
DNF Yvo Kusters (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert                 
DNF Tim Van Der Zanden (Ned) Procomm-Van Hemert          
DNF Martin Vestby (Nor) Procomm-Van Hemert               

Past winners

2005 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Amore & Vita-Beretta-Polska 201 km in  5.02.10 (39.911km/h)     
2004 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 193 km in 4.55.27 (39.255 km/h) 
2003 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2R Prevoyance
2002 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bonjour 201.4km in 4.54.24 (41.046 km/h)
2001 Didier Rous (Fra) Bonjour 206 kms in 4.51.32 (42.479 km/h)
2000 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R-Prevoyance 200.2 kms in 4.45.16
1999 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino 204 kms in 4.52.05
1998 Marco di Renzo (Ita) Cantina-Tollo 204 kms in 4.56.54
1997 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
1996 Laurent Desbiens (Fra)
1995 Mario De Clercq (Bel)
1994 Patrick Van Roosbroeck (Bel)
1993 Dimitry Zhdanov (Rus)
1992 Bruno Cornillet (Fra)
1991 Fabrice Naessens (Bel)
1990 Francois Lemarchand (Fra)
1989 Laurent Bezault (Fra)
1988 Alberto Leanizbarrutia (Spa)
1987 Jean-Claude Colotti (Fra)
1986 Francis Castaing (Fra)
1985 Michel Bibillet (Fra)
1984 Claude Moreau (Fra)
1983 Pierre Bazzo (Fra)
1982 Serge Beucherie (Fra)
1981 Bernard Bourreau (Fra)
1980 Jean-René Bernaudeau (Fra)
Past winners by Mario Stiehl,