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44th Grand Prix de Denain - 1.3
Denain, France, April 17, 2003
Belgian Roesems outfoxes the French
By Chris Henry
Bert Roesems (Palmans-Collstrop) claimed victory in today's Grand Prix de Denain, the sixth round of the Coupe de France series, held in northern France not far from the roads of Paris-Roubaix. In a race marked by attacks from French teams eager for a victory on home soil, Roesems saved his energy for when it mattered, winning a sprint from a leading group five riders.
"I'm 30 years old now, and I've always ridden on Division II teams," Roesems commented at the finish. "Now with Palmans-Collstrop I'm riding in Division I. To ride some of the big races is a bit stressful, but I rode a good Tour of Flanders, and today was a good race." Standing next to former classics specialist Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, Roesems noted that he hoped he, like the French champion, could experience some good results in the later years of his career.
Five riders set the tone for the race within the first 30km, breaking clear and quickly gaining two and a half minutes on a peloton which was clearly content to let them go. Circuit de la Sarthe winner Carlos Da Cruz (FDJeux.com) helped spur on the move, along with Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team fakta), Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangère), Lauri Aus (Ag2R-Prévoyance), and Christophe Edaleine (Jean Delatour). The group stretched its lead to nearly six minutes before the field decided it was time to react.
The break remained a five man affair, but with one substitution. Team fakta's Arvesen stopped to heed the call of nature, but surprisingly never returned. Meanwhile, as the field began to narrow the leaders' advantage, Stéphane Barthe (MBK-Oktos) produced an impressive effort to bridge the gap solo and join the leading four.
Although the peloton would never actually pull back the leaders, a counter attack of some 20 riders did get close enough to present a number of attacks and chases which would reshape the leading group as the race took in five laps of a 14km finishing circuit around Denain. Notably absent among the leaders were riders from three French teams: Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, and BigMat. Within the both the chase group and the main field, however, coordination was notably lacking, and no attempts to chase the leaders were of much success.
Thomas Voeckler, who helped shape the original break of five, remained aggressive up front, driving the break and taking advantage of his team's strength in numbers in the group chasing behind. Voeckler leapt from the field on the final lap of the circuit, forging ahead on his own before the lanky Belgian Roesems eventually clawed his way up to the diminutive French rider. The two made an odd duo, as Roesems towered over Voeckler, yet still asked his companion to pull through to maintain their advantage. They were eventually joined by Enrico Poitschke (Team Wiesenhof), Pierre Bourquenoud (Jean Delatour), and Frédéric Guesdon (FDJeux.com), who was looking for revenge after a disappointing Paris-Roubaix, yet clearly was still fatigued by his Sunday in hell.
As Guesdon and Bourquenoud struggled to hold the wheels, Voeckler put in one last attack to try to shake his rivals as the group passed under the 1km to go banner. It was a defiant effort from a rider who had been up front for virtually the entire race, but it was Roesems who stormed up the right side of the road and overtook Voeckler on his way to a fine sprint win.
"I spent a lot of the race in front," Voeckler explained. "I tried to get in the right moves. I didn't work too much in the [first] group of five. I'm a bit disappointed that the team didn't win since we were so well represented up front."
Coupe de France leader Jaan Kirsipuu abandoned along with many in the field, but maintains his lead in the series since no members of the break were of any threat to the overall classification.
Images by Miwako Sasaki/Japanese Cycle Sport
1 Bert Roesems (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 4.30.39 2 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 4 Pierre Bourquenoud (Swi) Jean Delatour 0.07 5 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJeux.com 0.18 6 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 0.31 7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 0.34 8 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Jean Delatour 9 Carlos Dacruz (Fra) FDJeux.com 0.40 10 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 11 Allan Johansen (Den) Team fakta 12 Tom Flammang (Lux) Cofidis-Le Crédit par Téléphone 13 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Tenax 14 Stéphane Barthe (Fra) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 15 Franck Pencole (Fra) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 16 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2r-Prevoyance 17 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Domo 18 Alan Iacuone (Aus) Flanders-IteamNova.com 19 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Jean Delatour 20 Stéphane Berges (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 21 Christian Poos (Lux) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 22 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole 23 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) FDJeux.com 6.27 24 Matthé Pronk (Ned) BankGiroLoterij Cycling Team 25 Jimmy Casper (Fra) FDJeux.com 8.15 26 Philippe Gaumont (Fra) Cofidis-Le Crédit par Téléphon 27 Tom Stremersch (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 8.26 28 Saulius Ruskys (Ltu) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 8.29 29 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 30 Kristof Trouve (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 31 Andris Nauduzs (Lat) CCC-Polsat 32 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis-Le Crédit par Téléphone 33 Christopher Jenner (Fra) Credit Agricole 34 David Derepas (Fra) FDJeux.com 35 Vincent Templier (Fra) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 36 Guillaume Auger (Fra) Big.Mat-Auber 93 37 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 38 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Lotto-Domo 39 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Jean Delatour 40 Mikhail Timochine (Rus) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 41 Mauricio Ardila (Col) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 8.32 42 Christoph Von Kleinsorgen (Ger) Team Coast 43 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team fakta 44 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole 45 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 46 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto-Domo 47 Nicolas Meunier (Fra) Big.Mat-Auber 93 48 René Jörgensen (Den) Team fakta 49 Gert Vanderaerden (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 8.35 50 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Credit Agricole 51 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis-Le Crédit par Téléphone 52 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 53 Ryan Cox (RSA) Team Barloworld 54 Thomas Grönqvist (Swe) Team fakta 8.37 55 Sean Sullivan (Aus) Team Barloworld 0.42 56 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Big.Mat-Auber 93 8.37 57 Matthew Gilmore (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 8.48 58 Andrei Mizourov (Kaz) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 8.49 59 Jorgen Bo Petersen (Den) Team fakta 0.42 60 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com 8.49 61 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf 62 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Big.Mat-Auber 93 63 Timo Scholz (Ger) Team Wiesenhof 64 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 65 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Flanders-IteamNova.com 66 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) Jean Delatour 67 Jérôme Bernard (Fra) Jean Delatour 68 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto-Domo 69 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 70 Steve De Wolf (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 71 Eddy Lembo (Fra) MBK-Oktos-Saint-Quentin 72 Lars Wackernagel (Ger) Team Wiesenhof
2002 Alberto Vinale (Ita) Alessio 2001 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance 2000 Endrio Leoni (Ita) Alessio 1999 Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 1998 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino 1997 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) 1996 Jan Svorada (Slo) 1995 Jo Planckaert (Bel) 1994 Jans Koerts (Ned) 1993 Marcel Wüst (Ger) 1992 Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel) 1991 Frédéric Moncassin (Fra) 1990 Frédéric Moncassin (Fra) 1989 Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel) 1988 Pascal Poisson (Fra) 1987 Bruno Wojtinek (Fra) 1986 Bruno Wojtinek (Fra) 1985 Patrick Versluys (Bel) 1984 Godimus (Bel) 1983 Paul Sherwen (GB) 1982 Vanhaerens (Bel) 1981 Ferdinand Vandenhaute (Bel) 1980 Van Thielen (Bel) 1979 Pipart (Ned) 1978 Frank Hoste (Bel) 1977 Robert Mintkiewicz (Fra) 1976 Walter Planckaert (Bel) 1975 Loysch (Bel) 1974 Willy Teirlinck (Bel) 1973 Marc Demeyer (Bel) 1972 G. Van Roosbroeck (Bel) 1971 André Dierickx (Bel) 1970 Callens (Bel) 1969 Mathy (Bel) 1968 Jean Stablinski (Fra) 1967 José Samyn (Bel) 1966 Vrancken (Bel) 1965 Janssens (Bel) 1964 Wright (GB) 1963 Desmet (Bel) 1962 Schepens (Bel) 1961 Arthur De Cabooter (Bel) 1960 Borra (Bel) 1959 Seamus Elliott (Ire) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com