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French National Championships - CN
France, June 26-29, 2008
Day 1 - June 26: Time Trials: Elite Men, Women, Juniors, 22.1/43.2 km
Third crown for Sylvain Chavanel
By Jean-François Quénet
Sylvain Chavanel has become the French champion for the third time in three participations. As in 2005 and 2006, he has scored the fastest time in the Burgundy region. "I'm happy to get my third title," he said when he got off his bike. "I've proven to be one of the best specialists for time trial in France, and maybe I'm even the best. But still, I'd rather win the road title on Sunday than today's time trial."
He didn't compete last year under the instructions of his Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer. "I skipped the time trial so people would forget about me in the road race, but it didn't work," he recalled. "But now, with the races I've won this year and the good form I've kept, I'll be marked on Sunday no matter what. But I'm not the favorite, I'm just one of the ten favorites." He refused to name who he sees as his most fearful opponents.
Chavanel built his win on the hill that will be used for the road on Sunday as well. It was at the beginning of the course of the time trial and many riders put themselves in the red there and never recovered. That was the case for defending champion Benoît Vaugrenard from Française des Jeux who only came 22nd this time and his runner up last year Dimitri Champion of Bouygues Telecom. "I never found the rhythm," said the Parisian rider who had prepared specifically for this race as he knew that he was not in contention alongside Thomas Voeckler and co. for the Tour de France.
In a similar approach of the French championship for time trial, Crédit Agricole's Christophe Kern and Noan Lelarge from Bretagne-Armor Lux created a surprise finishing respectively second and third. "I have struggled at the beginning of the season but since the Tour of Luxemburg," Kern said. "I've trained for this time trial under the advice of my directeur sportif Eddy Seigneur who had won the French title four times. I've followed exactly the programs he had for himself in the past and he has worked pretty well."
Lelarge was the most surprised to see himself on the podium listening to the national anthem La Marseillaise. "It's a nice surprise actually," said the 33 year-old who had won the uphill time trial at the Route du Sud last week. "I prepared specifically for this race and I targeted a top five but the third place is even better."
The biggest name of French cycling Christophe Moreau who has never won the title for time trial despite many attempts came eighth this time.
Longo makes it eight
Four months before her 50th birthday, the evergreen Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli took her eighth career French time trial championship, bringing her tally of national road titles up to 22. She didn't just win, she smashed the competition - besting former cyclo-cross world champion Maryline Salvetat by one minute eight seconds. Third was Edwige Pitel, 1'57" off Longo's pace.
Longo looks to be back in good form for the Beijing Olympic Games in August, where she will look add to her medal count. She won gold in the Altanta road race in 1996, Silver in 1992 and in the time trial took silver in '96 and bronze in Sydney in 2000.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fabrice Lambert
Images by Régis Garnier/www.velofotopro.com
Elite Men - 43.2 km 1 Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis - Le Credit Par Telephone) 53.15 (48.676 km/h) 2 Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) 1.18 3 Noan Lelarge (Bretagne Armor Lux) 1.38 4 Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel) 1.41 5 Damien Monier (Cofidis - Le Credit Par Telephone) 1.42 6 Florian Morizot (Auber 93) 1.42 7 Jérôme Coppel (Francaise des Jeux) 1.51 8 Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) 2.26 9 Dimitri Champion (Bouygues Telecom) 2.33 10 Florent Brard (Cofidis - Le Credit Par Telephone) 2.39 11 Nicolas Fritsch (Avc Aix En Provence) 2.41 12 Emilien - Benoît Berges (Agritubel) 3.06 13 Cyril Lemoine (Credit Agricole) 3.20 14 Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux) 3.20 15 Christophe Edaleine (AG2R La Mondiale) 3.31 16 Anthony Roux (Francaise des Jeux) 3.40 17 Jean - Eudes Demaret (Cofidis - Le Credit Par Telephone) 3.53 18 Laurent Mangel (AG2R La Mondiale) 3.55 19 Clément Lhotellerie (Skil - Shimano) 3.56 20 Tony Gallopin (Auber 93) 4.03 21 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Vendee U) 4.06 22 Benoît Vaugrenard (Francaise des Jeux) 4.19 23 Frédéric Finot (Differdange Apiflo Vacances) 4.28 24 Yann Moritz (Limousin) 4.37 25 Stéphane Rossetto (CC Nogent Sur Oise) 4.40 26 Etienne Pieret (Cote d'Azur) 4.50 27 Kilian Patour (Slipstream - Chipotle Presented By H30) 4.59 28 David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) 5.04 29 Alexandre Roux (Ile De France) 5.05 30 Fabien Sanchez (Cote d'Azur) 5.06 31 Romain Lemarchand (Ile De France) 5.25 32 Nicolas Baldo (Super Sport 35) 5.35 33 Morgan Chedhomme (Auber 93) 5.43 34 Cyril Bessy (Cr4C Roanne) 5.47 35 Paul Poux (Top 16 Cyclisme) 6.01 36 Guillaume Bonnafond (Chambery Cyclisme Formation) 6.08 37 Jean - Edouard Antz (Alsace) 6.19 38 Sylvain Georges (A - Style Somn) 7.26 39 Jonathan Mouchel (Avc Aix En Provence) 8.15 40 Jérôme Fremin (Us St Austreberthe Pavilly Barentin) 9.00 41 Romain Genter (Lorraine) 9.01 DNF Daniel Hoareau (Avc Aix En Provence Ab) Elite Women - 22.1km 1 Jeannie Longo - Ciprelli (Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz) 31.16 (42.409 km/h) 2 Maryline Salvetat (Midi - Pyrenees) 1.08 3 Edwige Pitel (Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz) 1.57 4 Julie Krasniak (Lorraine) 2.29 5 Karine Gautard (Vienne Futuroscope) 2.50 6 Elodie Touffet (Gauss Rdz Ormu) 3.06 7 Jennifer Fischer (Alsace) 3.26 8 Emmanuelle Merlot (Vienne Futuroscope) 3.28 9 Christel Robin (Cote D`azur) 3.29 10 Julie Augizeau (Pays De La Loire) 3.31 11 Sophie Creux (Esgl 93 - Gsd Gestion) 3.33 12 Caroline Mani (Franche - Comte) 3.35 13 Estelle Patou (Esgl 93 - Gsd Gestion) 4.03 14 Sonia Huguet - Raiwisque (Lorraine) 4.12 15 Amelie Rivat (Rhone Alpes) 4.13 16 Beatrice Thomas (Esgl 93 - Gsd Gestion) 4.16 17 Emilie Blanquefort (Vienne Futuroscope) 4.21 18 Magali Finot Laivier (Bourgogne) 4.24 19 Isabelle Ferrer (Bourgogne) 4.44 20 Melanie Bravard (Team Lot Et Garonne) 21 Audrey Cordon (Vienne Futuroscope) 5.02 22 Nadia Triquet - Claude (Lorraine) 5.04 23 Isabelle Rames (Aquitaine) 5.11 24 Juliane Wibert (Alsace) 5.18 25 Stephanie Vaxillaire (Bourgogne) 5.28 26 Julie Dheruelle (Vienne Futuroscope) 6.08 27 Kelly Gambier (Team Lot Et Garonne) 7.15 28 Sylvie Riedle (Lorraine) 7.35 29 Elodie Belz (Esgl 93 - Gsd Gestion) 8.38 Espoir Women 1 Julie Krasniak (Lorraine) 33.46 2 Jennifer Fischer (Alsace) 0.57 3 Emmanuelle Merlot (Vienne Futuroscope) 0.59 4 Christel Robin (Cote d'Azur) 1.00 5 Julie Augizeau (Pays De La Loire) 1.02 6 Caroline Mani (Franche - Comte) 1.06 7 Amelie Rivat (Rhone Alpes) 1.44 8 Emilie Blanquefort (Vienne Futuroscope) 1.52 9 Melanie Bravard (Team Lot Et Garonne) 2.15 10 Audrey Cordon (Vienne Futuroscope) 2.33 11 Juliane Wibert (Alsace) 2.49 12 Julie Dheruelle (Vienne Futuroscope) 3.39 13 Kelly Gambier (Team Lot Et Garonne) 4.46 14 Elodie Belz (ESGL 93 - GSD Gestion) 6.09