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GP Ouest France-Plouay - 1.HC

France, August 24, 2003

Main Page    Results

Flicked by 'Flick'

By Jean-François Quénet in Plouay

Flickinger flies
Photo: © Tony Collins
Click for larger image

In his fifth year as a professional, Frenchman Andy Flickinger, 25, riding for Ag2r, has claimed the second win of his career in the hors-category Grand Prix Ouest-France in Plouay, the first one being a stage of Paris-Corrèze last year. "This one is for sure the best win of my life," said a delighted Flickinger post race.

Flickinger is a true attacker. He often makes the breaks but he actually missed the first one that developed during the first lap in Plouay. 45 riders went away on the first hill but got caught and replaced by another 45 riders during the second lap, many of them being the same. "At the beginning of the race, I felt I had stiff legs and I hadn't recovered from the Tour du Limousin," Flickinger explained. "Then I went back up the front of the bunch and I was lucky to be there in the move."

Ag2r outnumbered the other teams with five men in the break: Flickinger, Mark Scanlon, Ludovic Turpin, Laurent Brochard and Stéphane Bergès, Fdjeux.com being the second best represented team in the front with beginner Jérémy Roy, former winner Christophe Mengin, Nicolas Vogondy and Frédéric Guesdon. Igor Astarloa (Saeco), Frank Vandenbroucke (Quickstep), Jakob Piil (CSC) and Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole) were also in this group.

Successively, Lotto-Domo, Gerolsteiner and Phonak tried to bring the bunch back. Quick.Step was close to making it with 5 laps to go. The gap to the escapees was only 35 seconds, but rather than finishing the job, they tried to create a counter-attack with Luca Paolini. Then the gap went up above one minute. With four laps to go (more than 50km), six men broke clear from the front group just as Vogondy had a flat tyre: Flickinger, Scanlon, Mengin, and also Joseba Albizu (Mercatone Uno), Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) and Anthony Geslin (La Boulangère). Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Fakta) and Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) went across to form a group of eight.

The defending champion Jeremy Hunt had already abandoned halfway through the race. He was sick and also a victim of the new climb, the côte du moulin which made the race harder and slower - about 2 km/h less than before.

Jalabert not happy
Photo: © J-F Quenet
Click for larger image

In the last lap, Flickinger attacked and Jalabert joined him. Mengin went across with two kilometres to go, then Arvesen made an effort and the group of eight was back together for the sprint. "I kind of panicked when Albizu attacked," Flickinger said. "But I did well staying on Jalabert's wheel then I passed him on his left hand side and I won. For sure my experience in track racing helped me win here."

'Flick' is a past European Madison champion. It was his first time racing in Plouay but he got plenty of advice from his friend Jacky Durand, who was doing the Tour of Holland for Fdjeux.com, while Flickinger was in Limousin. "Half of my win is due to the sacrifice of Mark Scanlon," Flickinger added. "He's a future great rider for the classics and he did a fantastic job for me today."

This is a well deserved win for Ag2r who raced perfectly. "It's the 12th time I've brought a team here and the first time I've won," a delighted team director Vincent Lavenu said. The best result he had in Plouay was third with Lauri Aus in 1999. Now the good news means that the team can pay a tribute to the Estonian rider, who died in an accident in July while training in his country during the Tour de France.


Images by AFP Photo

Images by Jean-Francois Quenet

Images by Tony Collins

Results - 198 km

1 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2r                  4.34.22 (43.2 km/h)
2 Anthony Geslin (Fra) La Boulangère
3 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) CSC
4 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Fdjeux.com
5 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) fakta
6 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2r
7 Joseba Albizu (Spa) Mercatone Uno              0.03
8 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour            0.25
9 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis                   1.38
10 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole            1.48
11 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco
12 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 
13 Médéric Clain (Fra) Cofidis
14 Ludovic Martin (Fra) Jean Delatour
15 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Fdjeux.com
16 Ludovic Auger (Fra) BigMat
17 Ruslan Gryshenko (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet
18 Andrei Mizourov (Kaz) Oktos
19 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Marlux
20 Roger Beuchat (Swi) Phonak
21 Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita) Cofidis              1.51
22 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) Fdjeux.com
23 Maryan Hary (Fra) La Boulangère               2.03
24 Robert Forster (Ger) Geroslteiner             2.06
25 Franck Renier (Fra) La Boulangère             2.15
26 Jean-Michel Tessier (Fra) Marlux
27 Jakob Piil (Fra) CSC                      2.36
28 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank                  3.28
29 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak                   3.59
30 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) BigMat
31 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quickstep
32 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2r
33 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis                 4.02
34 Jorgen Bo Petersen (Den) fakta                4.04
35 Geert Vanderaerden (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
36 Volodimir Bileka (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet
37 Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis                    4.13
38 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) La Boulangère
39 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) Fdjeux.com
40 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Jean Delatour
41 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2r
42 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Jean Delatour
43 Florent Brard (Fra) Marlux
44 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r
45 Walter Bénéteau (Fra) La Boulangère
46 Igor Astarloa (Fra) Saeco
47 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Fdjeux.com                   5.11
48 Addy Engels (Ned) 
49 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned)
50 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Quickstep           6.01
51 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crédit Agricole
52 Stéphane Bergès (Fra) Ag2r
53 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner              13.42
54 Stefan Kupfernagel (Ger) Phonak
55 Plamen Stoianov (Bul) BigMat
56 Franck Schleck (Lux) CSC
57 Tom Stremersch (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
58 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
59 Ivan Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco
60 Martin Derganc (Slo) Domina Vacanze
61 Philippe Gaumont (Fra) Cofidis
62 Sergei Adveyev (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet 
63 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
64 Mauricio Ardila (Col) Marlux
65 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep
66 Lars Michaelsen (Den) CSC
67 Jens Voigt (Ger) Crédit Agricole
68 Antonio Bucciero (Ita) Saeco
69 Mario Scirea (Ita) Domina Vacanze
70 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Domina Vacanze
71 Iker Camano (Spa) Phonak
72 Thomas Gronqvist (Swe) fakta
73 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
74 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC
75 Laurent Paumier (Fra) Oktos
76 Fredrik Modin (Swe) fakta
77 Domenico Passuello (Ita) Quickstep
78 Saulius Ruskys (Lit) Marlux
79 Franck Pencolé (Fra) Oktos
80 Christophe Stevens (Bel) Marlux
81 Guillaume Auger (Fra) BigMat
82 Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita) Domina Vacanze
83 Sergio Marinangeli (Ita) Domina Vacanze
84 Sébastien Talabardon (Fra) BigMat
85 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra) Oktos
86 Matthew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
87 Massimo Codol (Ita) Mercatone Uno
88 Andrei Kasheshkin (Kaz) Quickstep
89 Luca Solari (Ita) Mercatone Uno
90 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Marlux
91 Dimitri Konyshev (Rus) Marlux
92 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2r
93 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) BigMat
94 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Mercatone Uno
95 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r
96 Ruggero Borghi (Ita) Mercatone Uno
97 Mickael Pichon (Fra) Fdjeux.com
98 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Fdjeux.com
99 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) La Boulangère