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Boucles de l'Aulne - 1.1

France, June 1, 2008

2007 results     Results    Past winners

Feillu back where his fame started

By Jean-François Quénet in Châteaulin

Romain Feillu has repeated his success at the same race where he collected the first of his four pro wins as a rookie last year. This puts an end to a four-month long break that forced him out of racing because of toxoplasmose.

Remembering his win at the Boucles de l'Aulne in Châteaulin last year, he went to the start line with personalized gloves: on one of them, "Vive" was written and on the other one "Châteaulin." He also dared to predict at the microphone of race commentator Daniel Mangeas: "If I arrive in a ... sprint today, I have 100% chance of winning."

It shows the determination of France's highest hope who didn't miss his chance of entering the second significant breakaway of the day. "Being three riders from Agritubel in the front including Christophe Moreau has helped us in controlling the situation until 10km to go," Feillu explained after the finish.

"I was sure of myself towards the end," he continued. "I passed Nico Sijmens 150 metres before the line, I knew that was the right place for doing it. I've had to push him a little bit to make my way, otherwise it would have been too late." There was no controversy about the regularity of the sprint, though. "What Feillu did was totally correct", the Belgian from Landbouwkrediet confirmed. "Everybody knows that he is a fast finisher. The rider from Auber 93 [Arnold Jeannesson, - ed.] had made a gap earlier and I closed it; I've been close to winning but I can be happy with a ninth place in Plumelec and a second today."

Just like last year, Feillu will return to the Tour of Luxemburg where he was a surprise winner. He wasn't in the picture for the Tour de France after the long disease he had, but now it seems that the door is open again. "I don't know yet, I might give it a go if I can but for sure I don't have the foundations for finishing the Tour this year," he concluded.

How it unfolded

The high rhythm of the race was given by Anthony Ravard (Agritubel) but the first breakaway went after 20 kilometres with 22 riders: Eduardo Gonzalo, Nicolas Jalabert and Benoît Sinner (Agritubel), Arnaud Gérard, Gianni Meersman and Cyrille Monnerais (Française des Jeux), Christophe Le Mével, Pierre Rolland and Julien Simon (Crédit Agricole), Renaud Dion and Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r), Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom), Sébastien Delfosse and Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet), Mathieu Criquièlion (Mitsubishi-Jartazi), Antoine Dalibard and Yann Pivois (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Steve Chainel (Auber 93), Alexandre Aulas (A-Style), Thomas Bodo and Carl Naibo (Apiflo) and Pierre Drancourt (Groupe Gobert).

They accumulated more than a three-minute lead but Roubaix-Lille-Métropole, which had nobody in the front group and Bouygues Telecom, which could only count on Labbe in the lead the day after their flamboyant success with Thomas Voeckler in Plumelec, combined forces for riding hard behind.

The breakaway split under the action of Jalabert. Meersmann looked the strongest like in Plumelec and not many riders were keen to take him far into the race. Jalabert and Rolland were the last riders to resist the return of the peloton, with 30km to go.

After the junction, an attack by Christophe Moreau created a lead group of 14 riders: with the French champion went Cédric Coutouly and Romain Feillu (Agritubel), Sandy Casar and Christophe Mengin (Française des Jeux), Dimitri Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), Tanel Kangert and Jean-Charles Sénac (Ag2r), Laurent Lefèvre (Bouygues Telecom), Nico Sijmens (Landbouwkrediet), Yohan Cauquil (Mitsubishi-Jartazi), David Le Lay and Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Arnold Jeannesson (Auber 93) and Steven Tronet (Roubaix-Lille-Métropole).

With 20km to go, they had a 42-second lead. With 15km to go, Mengin and Le Lay attacked. Moreau crashed by himself but got back on to the second part of the group after a split occurred with 10km to go. The seven riders playing for the win were Feillu, Mengin, Fofonov, Kangert, Sijmens, Le Lay and Jeannesson. The latter tried to go by himself before the final sprint but he got caught and Feillu was the fastest as he passed Sijmens exactly where he wanted to do it.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Freddy Guérin/www.photos-finish.com

Images by Jean-François Quénet

Results

1 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel                            4.08.43 (40.432 km/h)
2 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner               
3 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française des Jeux                      
4 Tanel Kangert (Est) AG2R La Mondiale                        0.02
5 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Crédit Agricole                           
6 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Auber 93                                
7 David Lelay (Fra) Bretagne - Armor Lux                      0.09
8 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                 0.47
9 Laurent Lefèvre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                      0.48
10 Yohan Cauquil (Fin) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                         
11 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel                          0.49
12 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                           
13 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Armor Lux                     
14 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel                                
15 Jean-Charles Senac (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                  0.52
16 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel                             1.47
17 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole                        
18 Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                 
19 Romain Fondard (Fra) Groupe Gobert.com                         
20 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                           
21 Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                       
22 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux                         
23 Alberto Di Lorenzo (Ita) A-Style Somn                          
24 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner    1.52
25 Christophe Diguet (Fra) Auber 93                           1.55
26 Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                0.02
27 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                    2.42
28 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                         2.50
29 Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) Roubaix Lille Metropole              
30 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale                   2.52
31 Paul Brousse (Fra) A-Style Somn                                
32 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                       
33 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner          
34 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Differdange - Apiflo Vacances              
35 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 93                                   
36 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       2.56
37 Janick Wisler (Swi) Atlas - Romer's Hausbäckerei               
38 Jean Mespoulède (Fra) Auber 93                             3.01
39 Sylvain Georges (Fra) A-Style Somn                         3.03
40 Thomas Degand (Bel) Groupe Gobert.com                          
41 Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) Bretagne - Armor Lux              3.06
42 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner               
43 Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                  
44 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner      3.10
45 Maxim Gourov (Kaz) A-Style Somn                            3.12
46 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française des Jeux                       
47 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux                      
48 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        
49 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Armor Lux                 
50 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Differdange - Apiflo Vacances             
51 Pierre Drancourt (Fra) Groupe Gobert.com                       
52 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux                         
53 Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                    
54 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 93                                   
55 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Armor Lux                    
                           

Past winners

2007 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel  
2006 Johan Coenen (Bel) Unibet.com
2005 Cancelled
2004 Frederic Finot (Fra) RAGT Semences-MG Rover
2003 Walter Bénéteau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère
2002 Christopher Jenner (Fra) Credit Agricole
2001 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour
2000 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bonjour-Toupargel
1999 Claude Lamour (Fra)
1998 Marco Pantani (Ita)
1997 (2) Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1996 Abraham Olano (Spa)
1995 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1994 Richard Virenque (Fra)
1993 Gérard Rué (Fra)
1992 Miguel Indurain (Spa)
1991 Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra)
1990 Ronan Pensec (Fra)
1989 Charly Mottet (Fra)
1988 Franck Pineau (Fra)
1987 Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
1985 (4) Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1984 Marc Madiot (Fra)
1983 Laurent Fignon (Fra)
1982 (2) Francesco Moser (Ita)
1981 (3) Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1980 Daniel Willems (Bel)
1979 (2) Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1978 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1977 Francesco Moser (Ita)
1976 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1975 (3) Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1974 Herman Vanspringel (Bel)
1973 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1972 Cyrille Guimard (Fra)
1971 Luis Ocana (Spa)
1970 Walter Godefroot (Bel)
1969 (2) Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968 (2) Jacques Anquetil  (Fra)
1967 Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1966 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1965 Guy Ignolin (Fra)
1964 (2) Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1963 Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1962 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1961 Joseph Morvan (Fra)
1960 Jean Stablinski (Fra)
1959 Jean Gainche (Fra)
1958 Gérard Saint (Fra)
1957 (2) Armand Audaire (Fra)
1956 Valentin Huot (Fra)
1955 Jacques Dupont (Fra)
1954 Fernand Picot (Fra)
1953 (2) Louison Bobet (Fra)
1952 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1951 Robert Desbats (Fra)
1950 Pierre Molinéris (Fra)
1949 Louison Bobet (Fra)
1948 Armand Audaire (Fra)
1947 G. Butteux (Fra)
1946 Roger Lambrecht (Fra)
1945 Sylvaere Jézo (Fra)
1938 (2) Pierre Cogan (Fra)
1937 Pierre Cogan (Fra)
1936 (3) Pierre Cloarec (Fra)
1935 (2) Pierre Cloarec (Fra)
1934 Jean-Marie Goasmat (Fra)
1933 a) Francois Favé (Fra) b) Pierre Cloarec (Fra)
1932 (2) Ferdinand Le Drogo (Fra)
1931 Ferdinand Le Drogo (Fra)