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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

30th Cholet-Pays De Loire - 1.1

France, March 25, 2007

2006 Results    Results    Past winners

Augé against all expectations

By Jean-François Quénet in Cholet

Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) wins
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

One year after creating a surprise with a fast neo pro - Chris Sutton - in a race they had never won before, Cofidis doubled up in Cholet-Pays de Loire in a strange manner. Stéphane Augé was their only representative in a 22-men breakaway launched very early.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the "Primavera of the Mauges" (the name of the area around Cholet in the Northwest of France) was supposed to be another duel between local ProTour teams Française des Jeux and Bouygues Telecom, the latter becoming nervous because of being the only squad of the category with no win this year yet. BT was forced to ride offensively since they didn't feature any sprinter, contrary to Cofidis with Sutton or FDJ with Sébastien Chavanel.

BT's old men Didier Rous, Laurent Brochard and Arnaud Labbe were very active in the front. FDJ had Jérémy Roy and Swedish rookie Johan Lindgren in the front but none of their stars, with Sandy Casar and Sébastien Joly being kind of sick. Cofidis was clearly the unhappy team with only Augé in the leading group.

A Bouygues Telecom rider leads
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

The bunch chased but they were loosing time! Sylvain Chavanel thought he could jump to the front by himself but he was like a boomerang. In the last 50 kilometers, FDJ decided to bring it back for the youngest of the Chavanel but at the same time, the breakaway became more active with many attacks.

"Jens Voigt was the strongest but everyone marked him and I believe he got sick of it", Roy underlined. The German really was sick in the end:. "I was left with no strength at the end," he said. "My daughters got a virus on Friday and I think they passed it on to me."

Strangely, Augé and Bretagne-Armor Lux' veteran Stéphane Pétilleau, 36, surprised everyone with breaking clear just before coming back to town. "We got on very well straight away," Pétilleau said. "I knew Augé would be faster than me, he takes part in bunch sprints at the Tour de France. Anyway, we are still looking for our first win in the French Cup but we're coming closer and closer."

Augé commented: "I was really scared of a bunch sprint finish after all the work we did in the front. The form I got at Paris-Nice made the difference at the end, I think. All the victories are sweet but this is my first one-day race. I came here with the idea of doing it." The 32 year-old Frenchman had collected four wins in stage races in the past, including one at the Pro Tour level at the Tour of Poland last year. He's known for attacking a lot. This time it wasn't for nothing.

How it unfolded

Freddy Bichot (Agritubel)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

After too many bunch sprint finishes in the past few years, the organisers had decided to leave town eastwards and keep the main hills for the end. Local boy Freddy Bichot of Agritubel was the first man to attack in the côte des Gardes after 13 kilometers.

A front group of 22 riders was formed in the downhill, including: Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Tom Stubbe (Chocolate Jacques), Johan Lindgren and Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux), Laurent Brochard, Arnaud Labbe and Didier Rous (Bouygues Telecom), Julien Loubet (Ag2r), Anthony Charteau and Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole), Jens Voigt (CSC), Nico Sijmens and Jan Kuyckx (Landbouwkrediet), Bichot and Romain Feillu (Agritubel), Janek Tombak (Jartazi), Sébastien Duret, Piotr Zielinski and Stéphane Pétilleau (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Jérémy Galland (Auber 93), Mickaël Larpe (VC Roubaix) and Jonas Ljungblad (Canyon).

Podium (L-R): Stéphane Pétilleau (Bretagne-Armor Lux)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

The Cofidis team of defending champion Chris Sutton didn't like this situation and chased behind. As they didn't close the gap, Sylvain Chavanel tried to go across by himself. He was 22 seconds down and the peloton just one minute down at km 64. But the French champion for time trial never made it. When he sat up at km 80, the bunch did so as well and the gap increased to 3 minutes.

Other teams took over in front of the bunch, mostly Chocolade Jacques with Ag2r in second lane. At km 150, with only three remaining climbs before the final circuit in Cholet, the leading group split in two parts. Augé, Roy, Brochard, Rous, Halgand, Voigt, Kuyckx, Bichot, Feillu, Tombak, Duret, Pétilleau and Ljungblad stayed away.

Voigt kept attacking. Halgand imitated him. Then it was up to Brochard. As soon as the 1997 world champion was rejoined, Pétilleau countered and Augé went with him. There were 15 km left. They only had a 22 seconds lead when they reached the finishing line with two laps of 4.4 km each to go. They maintained it. Pétilleau started sprinting first but he knew Augé was faster.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Régis Garnier/


1 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis                               4.47.39
2 Stéphane Petilleau (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                 0.03
3 Janek Tombak (Est) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                     0.36
4 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel                                    
5 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole                            
6 Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner                   
7 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel                                    
8 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux                              
9 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) (Unibet)                        
10 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                       
11 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                         
12 Mikel Gaztañaga (Spa) Agritubel                             0.48
13 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                   
14 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                         
15 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Crédit Agricole                          
16 Yohann Gene (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                              
17 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) (Unibet)                       
18 Coen Vertmeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Continental                   
19 Troels Vinther (Den) (Unibet)                        
20 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                         
21 Kilian Patour (Fra) Slipstream -Chipotle                        
22 Arjen De Baat (Ned) Rabobank Continental                        
23 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance                             
24 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93                                   
25 Christophe Diguet (Fra) Auber 93                                
26 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance                         
27 Gil Suray (Bel) (Unibet)                             
28 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux                     
29 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Crédit Agricole                          
30 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           
31 Jean Mespoulede (Fra) Auber 93                                  
32 Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) Agritubel                             
33 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) (Unibet)                         
34 Martin Pedersen (Den) Team CSC                                  
35 Johan Coenen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                            
36 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                          
37 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                       
38 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           
39 Sven Nevens (Bel) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                         
40 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Crédit Agricole                           
41 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner               
42 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis                                  
43 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Continental                        
44 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole                            
45 Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC                                      
46 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Cofidis                                
47 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                 
48 Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix -Lille Métropole                    
49 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 93                                    
50 Alexandr Khatuntsev (Rus) (Unibet)                   
51 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                      
52 Kasper Klostergaard (Den) Team CSC                              
53 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       
54 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Auber 93                               
55 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner               
56 Jeremy Venell (NZl) DFL -Litespeed             
57 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                                 
58 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       
59 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel                                 
60 Evgeny Popov (Rus) Rabobank Continental                         
61 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner           
62 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Continental                    
63 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance                            
64 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner               
65 Jarno Van Mingeroet (Bel) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                 
66 David Lelay (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                           
67 Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream -Chipotle                         
68 Daniel Fleeman (GBr) DFL -Litespeed            
69 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis                                     
70 Frédéric Gabriel (Fra) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner            
71 Nico Mattan (Bel) DFL -Litespeed               
72 Peter Stetina (USA) Slipstream -Chipotle                        
73 Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                     
74 Piotr Zielinski (Pol) Bretagne -Armor Lux                       
75 Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                           
76 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis                                  
77 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis                                  
78 Florian Morizot (Fra) Auber 93                                  
79 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Rabobank Continental                       1.02
80 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance                           1.06
81 Jean Zen (Fra) Roubaix -Lille Métropole                         
82 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne -Armor Lux                          
83 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93                                   
84 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Continental                    
85 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                      
86 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Chocolade Jacques                           
87 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner           
88 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet -Tönissteiner                
89 Yohan Cauquil (Ger) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                       
90 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                     
91 Geert Omloop (Bel) Jartazi-Promo Fashion                        
92 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                      
93 Huub Duyn (Ned) Slipstream -Chipotle                            
94 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream -Chipotle                           
95 Juan Pablo Wilches (Col) DFL -Litespeed    1.28
96 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                              
97 Thom Van Dulmen (Ned) Rabobank Continental                      
98 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team CSC                             
99 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team CSC                                  
100 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                            
101 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Crédit Agricole                     2.10
102 Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Roubaix -Lille Métropole             3.34
103 Paul Brousse (Fra) Roubaix -Lille Métropole                    
104 Krzysztof Miara (Pol) Intel -Action                            
105 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française des Jeux                    4.48
106 Ian Mcleod (RSA) Française des Jeux                            
107 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance                        
French Cup standings after round 2

1 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis                               50 pts
2 Stéphane Pétilleau (Fra) Bretagne-Armor Lux               35
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r Prévoyance 
4 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel                             20
5 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole                     18
6 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                   17
7 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel                             14
8 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux                       12
9 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Armor Lux                   8
10 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                   6
French Cup Team standings after round 2
1 Bouygues Telecom                                          17 pts
2 Ag2r Prévoyance                                           16
3 Agritubel                                                 15
4 Crédit Agricole
5 Bretagne-Armor Lux                                        14
6 Cofidis                                                   13
7 Française des Jeux                                         9
8 Roubaix Lille Métropole                                    6
9 Auber 93                                                   5

Past winners

2006 Chris Sutton (Aus) Cofidis     
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,