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Tour du Finistère - 1.1

France, April 21, 2007

2006 Results    Results    Past winners

Brouzes delivers Auber 93's yearly French Cup win

By Jean-François Quénet in Quimper

Eventual winner Niels Brouzes (Auber93)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

Continental French outfit Auber 93, who used to ride the Tour de France under the sponsorship of BigMat until 2002, is making a habit of winning one of the 15 French cup races every year. After Tristan Valentin at the Tro Bro Léon in 2005 and Emilien-Benoît Bergès in Villers-Cotterêts last year, 26 year-old Niels Brouzes claimed his first pro win at the Tour du Finistère for the squad.

"This is fantastic," he said. "Psychologically, I trained for that moment. If we don't think that winning is possible, we never make it. On Thursday, I was riding my bike with this idea in mind that I'd win today. I've done enormous sacrifices for living the life of a bike rider. It's a fantastic job when it comes to winning!"

Brouzes, who has grand fathers from the Ukraine and Norway, which explains why he has a Danish first name although he's a pure Parisian born in Drancy, wasn't born a cyclist: he was an excellent young tennis player. In international tournaments, he even played against Juan Carlos Ferrero before he decided to switch to cycling, following the example of his father Jean-Marcel who represented France at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, but never became a pro rider.

Brouzes was a good track rider and a time trial specialist when he won the Chrono des Herbiers (now Chrono des Nations) in the U23 category. "But with Auber 93, I can't work specifically as a time triallist," he said. "I've had to train differently for being able to climb the way I did today in the presence of world class riders like Thomas Voeckler and Pierrick Fedrigo."

Kilian Patour (Slipstream)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

The last race he'd won was a stage of the UCI2.2 Tour de la Manche in 2005. "I improve every year," added the cyclist, who started his career in 2002 with BigMat-Auber. "I'm coming slowly to the level I've aimed at for years."

Cofidis' Yann Huguet, who hails from the Bordeaux wine route between Pauillac and St-Estèphe, is doing extremely well this month. "I've tried to thank my team for all the good work that had been done before", he said, in a humble way after taking the second place behind Brouzes. He has already been third at the Route Adélie two weeks ago and made the front group at Paris-Camembert as well, making the Frenchman a rider to watch for the future.

Huguet is the best young rider of the French cup, now led by Rémi Pauriol. The latter was frustrated to finish the Tour du Finistère in fourth position, due to cramps that didn't allow him to defend in the final sprint.

How it unfolded

Anthony Charteau, Rémi Pauriol and Cyril Gauthier lead
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

After several unsuccessful skirmishes, Giovanni Bernaudeau (Bouygues Telecom), Benoît Poilvet (Crédit Agricole), Maryan Hary (Cofidis), Mickaël Delage (Française des Jeux), Blaise Sonnery (Ag2r), Florian Morizot (Auber 93), Piotr Zielinski (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Ramuntxo Garmendia (Flanders) and Koji Fukushima (Nippo Meitan) managed to get away after 42 kilometres. They got a lead of 44 seconds at 70 kilometres but just two kilometers later had been recaptured by the bunch.

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom), Amaël Moinard (Cofidis) and Julien Loubet (Ag2r) took over and a group of 40 riders was formed behind them. On the final circuit, another race started with 45 kilometres to go. Yoann Le Boulanger (Bouygues Telecom) attacked for the first time. Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) and Andrey Klyuev (Moscow Stars) came to help but a new front group was created under the action of the Crédit Agricole riders Anthony Charteau, Rémi Pauriol and Benoît Poilvet.

Le Boulanger decided to go by himself again with almost just on 40 kilometres to go. His teammate Thomas Voeckler jumped on every single wheel he could in an attempt to go across. It was only during the last lap, with five kilometres to go, that the Bouygues Telecom's Le Boulanger was caught. From the chasing group, Niels Brouzes (Auber 93) attacked as the course headed downhill, with Yann Huguet (Cofidis) shadowing his move. Klyuev counter attacked with Pauriol on his wheel, but these two had to spend too much energy catching the leading duo.

Brouzes sprinted from far and signed his first pro win, following the path of Simon Gerrans and Sergey Kolesnikov who won the event in the past two editions.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Régis Garnier/

Results - 188km

1 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber                                         4.20.19 (43.332 km/h)
2 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                                
3 Andrey Klyuev (Rus) Moscow Stars                                         
4 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                                       
5 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux                           0.05
6 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r Prévoyance                                     
7 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Nippo Corporation - Meitan Honpo Co LTD - Asada    
8 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bretagne-Armor Lux                               0.11
9 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Crédit Agricole                                   
10 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis                                           
11 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance                                       
12 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis                                            
13 Nicholas Roche (Irl) Crédit Agricole                                    
14 Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne-Armor Lux                                    
15 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel                                       0.17
16 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                 0.27
17 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           0.32
18 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis                                        0.50
19 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                              0.54
20 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne-Armor Lux                               1.07
21 Maryan Hary (Fra) Cofidis                                           2.20
22 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis                                          
23 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                            
24 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole                                    
25 Maxime Médérel (Fra) Auber                                              
26 Laurent Lefèvre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                  
27 Benjamin Johnson (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle                          3.01
28 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel                                      3.04
29 Johan Lindgren (Swe) Française Des Jeux                                 
30 Mikel Gaztañaga Echeverria (Spa) Agritubel                          3.11
31 Julien Loubet (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance                                     
32 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                             
33 Alex Coutts (GBr) Babes Only-Villapark Langemeer-Flanders               
34 Rene Mandri (Est) Ag2r Prévoyance                                       
35 Jeremie Galland (Fra) Auber                                             
36 Kenny Van Braeckel (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion                      3.22
37 Huub Duyn (Ned) Slipstream-Chipotle                                     
38 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Auber                                      3.24
39 Sergey Shcherbakov (Rus) Moscow Stars                                   
40 Robby Meul (Bel) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed                              
41 Matti Helminen (Fin) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed                          
42 Blaise Sonnery (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance                                    
43 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed                      
44 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2r Prévoyance                                    
45 Philipp Ludescher (Aus) Volksbank                                   3.27
46 Junya Sano (Jpn) Nippo Corporation - Meitan Honpo Co LTD - Asada    3.29
47 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Babes Only-Villapark Langemeer-Flanders           
48 Kazuya Okazaki (Jpn) Nippo Corporation - Meitan Honpo Co LTD - Asada    
49 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                  
50 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                                     
51 Sven Nevens (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion                                 
52 Paul Brousse (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                              
53 Carl Naibo (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance                                        
54 Mickaël Delage (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                 
55 Florian Morizot (Fra) Auber (Fra) Auber                                 
56 Piotr Zielinski (Pol) Bretagne - Armor Lux                          3.35
57 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux                                  
58 Ildar Zakirov (Rus) Moscow Stars                                        
59 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                           3.59
60 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                             
61 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                                    
62 Peter Ronsse (Bel) Babes Only-Villapark Langemeer-Flanders              
63 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 
64 Tyler Butterfield (Ber) Slipstream-Chipotle                             
65 Jan Soetens (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion                             4.04

Starters: 124
non-starters: 1

Past winners

2006 Sergey Kolesnikov (Rus) Dynamo Moscow
2005 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r Prevoyance               
2004 Daniele Balestri (Ita) ICET
2003 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra)
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)