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GP Ouest France-Plouay - CDM & ProT

France, August 24-25, 2008

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Stage 2 - August 25: Men's ProTour GP Ouest-France, 229.2 km

Fédrigo is Plouay's new hero

Bouyges Telecom takes second successive Ouest-France

By Ben Atkins in Plouay

An emphatic win by Pierrick Fédrigo (Boygues Telecom)
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Former French champion Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouyges Telecom) has won the Grand Prix Ouest-France in a three-man sprint over Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) and David Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne). The three riders were all that remained of a 17 man move that formed in the closing stages of the race.

Fédrigo, Ballan and Lopez Garcia arrived at the finishing straight together, despite attempts by the Caisse d'Epargne rider to escape in the closing kilometres. In the end, the Frenchman proved to be fresher than the other two riders and he won the sprint comfortably over Ballan. Lopez Garcia rolled in three seconds later having sat up after being unable to live with the speed of the others.

As expected, the race was punctuated by a series of attacks, the first of which went clear inside the first of the 12, 19.1 kilometre circuits. No break managed to get what one might regard as a decisive gap, and it was while the peloton almost had the leaders in sight on the penultimate lap that Fédrigo managed to bridge across to what turned out to be the winning move.

Fédrigo's victory is the second in succession for the nearby Vendee-based Bouyges Telecom team after Thomas Voekler's solo dash for the line last year. It is also the Frenchman's biggest victory since his Tour de France stage victory into Gap in 2006.

"I have already won a stage of the Tour de France and been the champion of France [in 2005]," said Fédrigo. "So you could say that this victory in Plouay is the bronze medal in my palmares.

"I haven't completely recovered from the change in time zones," he said of his recent return from the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. "I still have concerns over catching up on my sleep. Luckily for me there was a big battle here today in Plouay."

Alessandro Ballan was one of the strongest riders in the breakaway, able to stay with the leaders until the finish, but once again found that his sprint couldn't match that of his rivals. The 2007 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner found himself too tired to compete with the faster Frenchman in the slightly uphill dash for the line.

"It was a very hard race," the Italian said. "There were lots of attacks and we got away in the last lap and worked together until the final kilometres. Coming into the finish I was very tired and Fédrigo was very, very strong.

"There is nothing to say," he added later. "Fédrigo was the strongest today…I was too tired at the finish to be able to compete in the sprint. I paid for the efforts that I had made to stay at the front."

After trying to distance his two breakaway companions in the last few kilometres due to fears over their superior sprints, Lopez Garcia was indeed unable to compete and sat up in the final 100 metres. He coasted over the line to take third place after being one of the most aggressive riders of the race.

Despite never looking like it would be able to catch the three escapees, the peloton accelerated over the final few kilometres to finish just 13 seconds behind Fédrigo. Australian Allan Davis bade farewell to his Mitsubishi-Jartazi team with a morale boosting victory in the dash for fourth before he moves over to the Quick Step team next week. Lopez Garcia' Caisse d'Epargne team-mate was just behind in fifth and local Breton rider Arnaud Gerard (Française des Jeux) was sixth.

In the absence of series leader Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), and overall second placed Damiano Cunego (Lampre) finished in 36th, way out of the points, the result had very little bearing on the ProTour standings. Ballan's 30 points for second place move him up from 29th to 6th, and 40 points for the win elevate Fédrigo from 49th to 11th, neither though is any threat to the 123 points of Valverde.

How it unfolded

153 riders from 20 teams took the start with threatening skies hanging over the north-western France region of Bretagne. The westerly breeze experienced by yesterday's Women's World Cup race had stiffened considerably and threatened to bring showers over the course of the day.

Mid way around the first of twelve rolling laps a group of twelve riders escaped and the relaxed peloton was happy to allow them to escape.

The group consisted of: Giovanni Bernadeau (Bouygues Telecom), Imanol Erviti (Caisse d'Epargne), Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Guillame Laverlet (Française des Jeux), Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Christian Knees (Milram), Adam Hansen (Columbia), Marco Marzano (Lampre), Alexandr Kuschynski (Liquigas), Jurgen Van De Walle (Quick Step), Marc De Maar (Rabobank) and Christophe Moreau (Agritubel).

Working well together, the group managed to build a lead of 3'29 by the end of the first lap, but were never allowed to get too far away thanks to work done on the front of the peloton by CSC-Saxo Bank and Mitsubishi-Jartazi.

After a few laps Augé dropped out of the break and was soon picked up by the peloton.

Continued work by the CSC-Saxo Bank and Mitsubishi-Jartazi teams reduced the lead by around 30 seconds per lap and by the race's halfway point at the end of lap six, the gap was just 39 seconds.

During the seventh lap though the CSC and Jartazi teams left the front and the pace of the peloton dropped considerably allowing the gap to grow to 2'48 as Gerolsteiner and Lampre moved forward.

Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) leads the break
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Meanwhile, Van De Walle and Bernadeau were both dropped by the breakaway, leaving nine riders in front.

In the course of the eighth lap the Gerolsteiner and Lampre teams managed to get their chase organised – with Marzano no longer contributing in the break – and the gap dropped back to 1'08 at the line and continued to reduce as the next lap unfolded.

With just over 65km remaining the riders in the breakaway group began to look over their shoulders as the gap reduced to less than 20 seconds. To add to their problems, the light rain that had fallen during the first hour of the race returned. In the latter half of the lap though last year's winner Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), David Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) and Amaël Moinard (Cofidis) attacked from the peloton and managed to bridge across, while Knees was dropped. The lead with three laps to go was down to 22 seconds.

As the pace lifted in the peloton it began to split under pressure from the Lampre team.

Not wanting to hang around in a break that was seemingly doomed, Lopez Garcia attacked almost immediately and set off alone with Lavarlet in pursuit.

As the rest of the breakaway was swallowed by the peloton a group broke clear and joined Lavarlet in his chase of the lone Spaniard. The group of five consisted of: Maryan Hary (Cofidis), Lavarlet and Anthony Roux (both Française des Jeux), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and David De La Fuente (Scott-American Beef).

Almost immediately, the five riders up front caught up with Lastras to form a group of six, who crossed the line with two laps to go ten seconds ahead of a group of eleven.

Eventual winner, Pierrick Fédrigo (Boygues Telecom)
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

In the first few kilometres of the penultimate lap the six riders in front sat up to wait for the eleven chasers, meaning that there were now 17 riders up front almost a minute ahead of the peloton. The group consisted of: Jean Marc Marino (Credit Agricole), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale), David Lopez Garcia and Pablo Lastras (both Caisse d'Epargne), Maryan Hary (Cofidis), Guillame Lavarlet, Frederic Guesdon and Anthony Roux (all Française des Jeux), Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) Kjell Carlström, Murilo Fischer and Franco Pellizotti (all Liquigas), Josep Jufré and David De La Fuente (both Scott-American Beef), Dmitry Kozontchuk and Bauke Mollema (both Rabobank).

Immediately the group had formed an attack went in from Lastras and he quickly gained 14 seconds. This had the effect of causing the group of 16 behind him to split as small groups tried to bridge to the lone Spaniard.

With the peloton not far behind, some riders were dropped and others joined the splintering group ahead, the most prominent name amongst them being former French Champion Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues Telecom).

An attack from De La Fuente pulled Ballan, Lopez Garcia, Roux and Fédrigo clear and the five riders were just six seconds behind Lastras as they took the bell for the final lap, with the peloton 30 seconds back.

Soon after the bell the five pursuers caught Lastras and the six-man break continued to maintain its advantage over the peloton now led by Liquigas.

Pablo Lastras (Caisse D'Epargne) takes a gel
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

On the laps second climb, with 12km to go, De La Fuente, Roux and Lastras were dropped and the three other riders continued. Attacks off the front of the peloton from riders like Giovanni Visconti and Alessandro Proni (both Quick Step) and the almost inevitable move by Romain Feillu (Agritubel) with Nick Nuyens (Cofidis) only had the effect of splitting the bunch rather than making any progress on the three breakaways.

Into the final kilometre, Lopez Garcia – fearing the other two in a sprint – tried to escape alone but he was pulled back by an attentive Fédrigo.

The three arrived in the finishing straight and Ballan was first to make his move. Fédrigo proved to be stronger than the Italian and took the victory by over two lengths. Lopez Garcia rolled over the line three seconds later, having sat up.

Australian Allan Davis (Mitsubishi-Jartazi) beat Jose Joaquin Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) and Arnaud Gerard (Française des Jeux) in the sprint for fourth.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net

Images by Régis Garnier/www.velofotopro.com

Images by Fabrice Lambert, Grand Prix de Plouay


1 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom               5.42.44 (40.12 km/h)
2 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre                               
3 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                0.03
4 Allan Davis (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                     0.13
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                
6 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto                      
8 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel                                
9 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                            
10 Manuele Mori (Ita) Scott - American Beef                    
11 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                        
12 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                              
13 Gregory Rast (Swi) Astana                                   
14 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                 
15 Mickaël Chérel (Fra) Française des Jeux                     
16 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        
17 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                               
18 Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana                                  
19 Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia                           
20 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                           
21 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank                 
22 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                  
23 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto                        
24 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Scott - American Beef                 
25 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step                          
26 Julien Mazet (Fra) Astana                                   
27 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Silence - Lotto                        
28 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Crédit Agricole                       
29 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                   
30 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Scott - American Beef      
31 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi            
32 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone         
33 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole                     
34 Anthony Roux (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
35 Andrea Noè (Ita) Liquigas                                   
36 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                                 
37 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale                    
38 Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Agritubel                             
39 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                
40 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                             
41 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                   0.20
42 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                     
43 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Française des Jeux             0.39
44 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Quick Step                       1.04
45 Sergey Yakovlev (Kaz) Astana                            4.20
46 Janek Tombak (Est) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                       
47 William Bonnet (Fra) Crédit Agricole                        
48 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas                              
49 Lasse Bøchman (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank                    
50 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi            
51 Bart Dockx (Bel) Silence - Lotto                            
52 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Silence - Lotto                       
53 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                          
54 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Rabobank                         
55 Iker Camaño Ortuzar (Spa) Scott - American Beef             
56 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step                         
57 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                             
58 Michael Schär (Swi) Astana                                  
59 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone    
60 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone    
61 David Cañada (Spa) Scott - American Beef                    
62 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                            
63 Angel Gomez (Spa) Scott - American Beef                     
64 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                   
65 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Crédit Agricole                      
66 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux                   
67 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne                       
68 Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank                            
69 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC - Saxo Bank                    
70 Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi         6.10
71 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                  7.52
72 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas                           
73 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                              
74 Maryan Hary (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone         
75 Christophe Le Mével (Fra) Crédit Agricole                   
76 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank                                
77 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                        9.09
78 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                              
79 Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) AG2R La Mondiale                   
80 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner                          
81 Yon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                    
82 Iñaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                
83 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                 
84 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone      
85 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence - Lotto                          
86 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom               

ProTour standings

Individual ranking

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne         123 pts
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                                104
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana                                 96
4 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                              94
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto                           85
6 André Greipel (Ger) Team Columbia                           62
7 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre                              60
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne               60
9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi         60
10 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana                      58
11 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                    55
12 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step                            50
13 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi           48
14 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                          47
15 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         45
16 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia                            42
17 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana                               41
18 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank                               41
19 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone        40
20 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne                      40
21 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi             38
22 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                         36
23 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank                35
24 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia                          35
25 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                     32
26 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                 30
27 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                      30
28 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Scott - American Beef                30
29 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                               30
30 Mickael Delage (Fra) Française des Jeux                    30
31 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia                        30
32 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone     30
33 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia                        30
34 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                       30
35 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                        26
36 David Lopez Garcia                                         25
37 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step                           25
38 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Astana                         25
39 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone     25
40 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step                             23
41 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram                               22
42 Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Scott - American Beef          21
43 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas                             20
44 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                      20
45 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto                    17
46 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana                               17
47 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                           15
48 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas                             15
49 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step                        15
50 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                 15
51 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner                           13
52 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                         12
53 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne               12
54 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole                         12
55 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux                     11
56 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Lampre                               10
57 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto                        10
58 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Astana                                  9
59 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana                                 9
60 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi           7
61 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                     7
62 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole                          7
63 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas                              7
64 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                  6
65 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                     5
66 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver                                    5
67 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                           5
68 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                   5
69 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                             5
70 Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom                       4
71 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                 4
72 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                      3
73 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                        3
74 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone    3
75 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas                             3
76 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone      3
77 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team CSC-Saxo Bank               3
78 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia                          3
79 Francesco De Bonis (Ita) Gerolsteiner                       3
80 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia                          3
81 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas                            3
82 Gorka Verdugo Markotegi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi           2
83 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Quick Step                             2
84 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                              2
85 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Scott - American Beef      2
86 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                   2
87 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step                        2
88 Morris Possoni (Ita) Team Columbia                          2
89 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux                   2
90 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale                       2
91 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Caisse d'Epargne                  2
92 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner                           2
93 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Columbia                           2
94 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Crédit Agricole                        2
95 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux                 2
96 Manuele Mori (Ita) Scott - American Beef                    1
97 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        1
98 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone     1
99 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Columbia                           1
100 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne             1
101 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne        1
102 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Liquigas                     1
103 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone      1
104 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner                          1
105 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                        1
106 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram                           1
107 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC-Saxo Bank                    1
108 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank                               1
Teams ranking
1 Caisse d'Epargne                                           167 pts
2 Astana                                                     161
3 CSC-Saxo Bank                                              126
4 Silence-Lotto                                              125
5 Scott - American Beef                                      124
6 Euskaltel - Euskadi                                        122
7 Française Des Jeux                                         121
8 Liquigas                                                   119
9 Rabobank                                                   115
10 Team Columbia                                             111
11 Gerolsteiner                                              108
12 Credit Agricole                                           107
13 AG2R La Mondiale                                          104
14 Quick Step                                                104
15 Bouygues Telecom                                           94
16 Cofidis, le Credit Par Telephone                           80
17 Lampre                                                     63
18 Team Milram                                                54
Nation ranking
1 Spain                                                      349 pts
2 Italy                                                      267
3 Germany                                                    198
4 France                                                     177
5 Belgium                                                    162
6 Australia                                                  113
7 Czech Republic                                              94
8 Luxembourg                                                  94
9 Russian Federation                                          86
10 United States Of America                                   71
11 Switzerland                                                46
12 Colombia                                                   43
13 Netherlands                                                36
14 Sweden                                                     30
15 Norway                                                     27
16 Slovenia                                                   22
17 Finland                                                    15
18 Poland                                                     10
19 Kazakhstan                                                  9
20 Denmark                                                     4
21 Great Britain                                               4
22 Austria                                                     3
23 Venezuela                                                   2

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