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24th Tro Bro Léon - 1.1
Lannilis, France, April 22, 2007
Haddou keeps the legend of Auber 93 alive
By Jean-François Quénet in Lannilis
Saïd Haddou has finally brought Bouygues Telecom their first win of 2007 at the Tro Bro Léon. The day after Niels Brouzes' victory at the Tour du Finistère, the Franco-Algerian rider has given another good reason for fans to appreciate what Auber 93 does for cycling. Haddou moved from the famous Continental team of the Parisian suburbs who were close to winning today with Mathieu Drujon. Drujon was caught within the final kilometre, although Auber 93's new signing Christophe Diguet did finish third behind Sébastien Chavanel (Française des Jeux).
"Haddou was too strong anyway," Diguet commented afterwards. For the second year in a row, it was a bunch sprint finish after passing through the 24 cobblestone sections that make the Tro Bro Leon the 'Breton Paris-Roubaix' and give the event a very special flavor.
Australian Mark Renshaw wasn't able to repeat his win from last year, the Credit Agricole rider is still weakened by a virus that has prevented him from riding between the Tour of the Mediterranean in February to the GP Denain on Thursday where he finished a surprising second.
Haddou, who finished fourth at Denain behind winner Sébastien Chavanel, explained that his build-up to today's race was less than ideal. "I was injured after the Track World Cup in Manchester," the Parisian said. "It made me miss most of the classics. The Tro Bro Leon was the last one of them. Fortunately, the fourth place in Denain gave me the necessary confidence for today's sprint.
"This is a very demanding race. I wanted to do well since I discovered it two years ago when I rode for Auber 93 and my team-mate Tristan Valentin (now with Cofidis) won it."
Haddou undoubtedly benefitted from teammate Andy Flickinger's strong race today. Flickinger was part of the long breakaway with Janek Tombak and Piotr Zielinski, eventually dropping his companions with six kilometres remaining. Back in the peloton, Française des Jeux were obliged to work hard, giving an easy ride for the Bouygues Telecom riders. "I was afraid of everyone, that's why I decided to sprint early," Haddou said of his move in the finale.
Chavanel's second place makes him the new leader of the French cup. "I wasn't feeling super in the sprint," he said. "I gave all the energy I had but Saïd started very early and it was just impossible to beat him."
How it unfolded
Despite a saddle injury, Stéphane Pétilleau of local team Bretagne-Armor Lux was the most active rider in the first skirmishes of the day, but his Polish teammate Piotr Zielinski broke clear after 50 kilometres of racing. He got a 2'50 lead and he was eventually joined by Andy Flickinger (Bouygues Telecom), Janek Tombak (Jartazi) and Maxime Médérel (Auber 93). The latter was dropped and caught by the chasers on the final circuit.
Française des Jeux was the only team riding behind the breakaway in the last 20 kilometres. They wanted to ensure either a sprint win for recent GP Denain winner, Sébastien Chavanel, or a final attack by Mathieu Ladagnous who was looking very good. But it was up to Mathieu Drujon (Auber 93) to go solo when the last man away, Flickinger, gave up in the last cobblestone section with three kilometres to go.
Drujon got caught as well and Saïd Haddou (Bouygues Telecom) was the first sprinter in action from very far out on the slightly uphill finish. Haddou was so strong that no other sprinter came close to worrying him.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Régis Garnier/www.velofotopro.com
Images by Jean-Francois Quenet
1 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 4.44.28 (39.358 km/h) 2 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux 3 Christophe Diguet (Fra) Auber 93 4 Stéphane Bonsergent (Pol) Bretagne Armor Lux 5 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 6 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Nippo-Meitan 7 Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole 9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Crédit Agricole 10 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Auber 93 11 Rhys Pollock (Aus) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed 12 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 13 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 14 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 15 Beuny Johnson (Aus) Team Slipstream 16 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel 17 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion 18 Geert Omloop (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion 19 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel 20 David Derepas (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 21 Christian Pömer (Aut) Team Volksbank 22 Steve Chainel (Fra) Auber 93 23 David Le Lay (Fra) Bretagne Armor Lux 24 Kane Oakley (Aus) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed 25 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 26 Jean Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne Armor Lux 27 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 28 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 29 Kilian Patour (Fra) Team Slipstream 30 William Frischkorm (USA) Team Slipstream 0.06 31 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 32 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93 0.08 33 Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 34 Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française des Jeux 35 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 36 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel 0.12 37 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93 0.15 38 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux 0.43 39 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Crédit Agricole 1.05 40 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 1.14 41 Emilien Berges (Fra) Agritubel 1.15 42 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 43 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Bretagne Armor Lux 1.24 44 Piotr Zielinski (Pol) Bretagne Armor Lux 1.41 45 Huub Duyn (Ned) Team Slipstream 1.44 46 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1.46 47 Janek Tombak (Est) Jartazi Promo Fashion 48 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone 1.51 49 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Française des Jeux 50 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française des Jeux 1.53 51 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 52 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Volksbank 2.00 53 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2R Prevoyance 2.20 54 Yohann Gene (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 2.29 55 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 2.44 56 Robby Meul (Bel) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed 57 Matti Helminen (Fin) DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed 58 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Babes Only Flanders 3.11 59 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 6.55 60 Yohan Cauquil (Fra) Jartazi Promo Fashion Starters: 118 Classified: 60
2006 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole 191.7 kms in 4.46.54 2005 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Auber 93 195 kms in 5.02.32 2004 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 195.2 kms in 5.02.26