Coppel surprised to take overall classification in Étoile de Besseges
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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Coppel surprised to take overall classification in Étoile de Besseges

by Shane Stokes at 6:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Frenchman didn’t believe he would overhaul Rolland

Jerome CoppelSitting twenty seconds behind race leader Pierre Rolland (Europcar) heading into the concluding time trial, former world under 23 championship bronze medallist Jerome Coppel used his skill against the clock to overcome his deficit, but admitted afterwards that he was surprised to do so.

“We could not imagine a better start to the season,” he said at the end of the Étoile de Bessèges, which he won by a clear margin. “It's very good for confidence and it shows that the winter work has paid off. The main objective remains Paris-Nice, but it's always good to win a stage race like Bésseges.

“At the start of the time trial, Pierre Rolland had a big lead and I was aiming primarily for the stage win. For Saur Sojasun, the season starts strongly…”

Rolland took the race lead after winning stage three and then defended it yesterday. He started this morning’s 82 kilometre stage – the first of two split stages today – with a six second advantage over Franck Vermeulen (Veranda Rideau U) and eight on Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling).

The stage was due to finish at the top of the Col de la Baraque but the artic weather conditions which had affected the earlier stages struck again. Ice on the roads meant that the route had to be changed, with the riders only covering the lower slopes of the climb and then travelling to a new finish in Ales.

Soon after the start Jonathan Hivert (Saur Sojasun), Renaud Dion (Bretagne Schuller) and Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet) clipped away and held a slight lead for a long time.

Hivert made his bid for glory on the shortened climb and was 44 seconds clear with ten kilometres to go. He was hauled back, though, and in the gallop to the line Stéphane Poulhiès (Saur-Sojasun) repeated the win he took last year on the same route. He finished ahead of Justin Jules (Veranda Rideau U), Bobbie Traksel (Landbouwkrediet) and a large group; Rolland and Coppel also finished in this group, thus preserving the 20 second difference.

The time trial changed everything, though, with Coppel showing superb form from the off and steadily chomping away at the time gap. He covered the 9.7 kilometre course in 14 minutes 25 seconds, some 26 seconds faster than Rein Taaramae (Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne) and six more seconds ahead of Ag2r La Mondiale’s Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale).

Rolland did what he could to hang on but could only manage tenth, 48 seconds off the winning time.

“We must savor these days, they are rare!” said Saur Sojasun directeur sportif Stéphane Heulot. “I followed Jerome in the time trial, and when I saw him starting, I immediately realized that he was going very fast. He immediately got into his rhythm and he literally swallowed up the two kilometres of the final climb.

“It was truly a high-level performance. Jerome was right on the edge and for him it’s also his way of thanking the whole team, who did a lot of work throughout the week.”

The final result saw Coppel end up 25 seconds ahead of closest GC challenger Vermeulen and 26 up on Taaramae. Rolland dropped to fourth, 28 seconds back.

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Étoile de Bessèges (2.1), stages 5a and 5b:

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.

Stage 5a (Grand Prix d'Ales en Cévènnes, 75km):

Country Result Name Team Time
fra FRA 1 Stéphane Poulhies (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 2 Justin Jules (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
ned NED 3 Bobbie Traksel (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
fra FRA 4 Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
bel BEL 5 Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
fra FRA 6 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
fra FRA 7 Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 8 Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 9 Kurt Hovelijnck (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
bel BEL 10 Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
bel BEL 11 Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
bel BEL 12 Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
fra FRA 13 Matthieu Sprick (1t4i) s.t.
fra FRA 14 Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) s.t.
bel BEL 15 Davy Commeijne (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
bel BEL 16 Sven Jodts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
fra FRA 17 Jean Luc Delpech (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.

General classification after stage 5a:

Country Result Name Team Time
fra FRA 1 Jérome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) 10:44:48
fra FRA 2 Franck Vermeulen (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
est EST 3 Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
fra FRA 4 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) s.t.

Stage 5b (Grand Prix d'Ales en Cévènnes-Montée de l'Hermitage, 9.7km):

Country Result Name Team Time
fra FRA 1 Jérome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) 00:14:25
est EST 2 Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:26
fra FRA 3 Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:00:32
bel BEL 4 Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:33
fra FRA 5 Pierrick Fedrigo (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:00:37
fra FRA 6 Franck Vermeulen (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:00:39
fra FRA 7 Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
bel BEL 8 Dominique Cornu (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:00:42
fra FRA 9 Pierre Luc Perichon (La Pomme Marseille) 00:00:46
fra FRA 10 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) 00:00:48
fra FRA 11 Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) 00:00:49
fra FRA 12 Julien Antomarchi (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:51
bel BEL 13 Davy Commeijne (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:00:52
fra FRA 14 David Lelay (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 15 Remi Cusin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:53
ita ITA 16 Davide Malacarne (Europcar) 00:00:54
fra FRA 17 Rémy Di Gregorio (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:56
bel BEL 18 Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:00:57
fra FRA 19 Julien El Fares (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:58
bel BEL 20 Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:59
aut AUT 21 Georg Preidler (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
ned NED 22 Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
fra FRA 23 Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:02
jpn JPN 24 Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) 00:01:04
fra FRA 25 Yannick Martinez (La Pomme Marseille) 00:01:05
bel BEL 26 Leif Hoste (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) s.t.
fra FRA 27 Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 28 Yannick Talabardon (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:07
ltu LTU 29 Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) 00:01:09
fra FRA 30 Steve Houanard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 31 Bobbie Traksel (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:11
ita ITA 32 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:01:13
fra FRA 33 Dimitri Le Boulch (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:01:15
fra FRA 34 Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:16
bel BEL 35 Kurt Hovelijnck (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:19
fra FRA 36 Gael Malacarne (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:20
bel BEL 37 Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
gbr GBR 38 Mark Mcnally (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) s.t.
fra FRA 39 Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:27
bel BEL 40 Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:01:31
fra FRA 41 Arnaud Gerard (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:32
fra FRA 42 Justin Jules (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
ger GER 43 Simon Geschke (1t4i) s.t.
fra FRA 44 Matthieu Sprick (1t4i) 00:01:36
bel BEL 45 Staf Scheirlinckx (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:01:37
bel BEL 46 Niko Eeckhout (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) 00:01:39
fra FRA 47 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:01:40
bel BEL 48 Rob Goris (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:01:42
fra FRA 49 Anthony Geslin (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:43
fra FRA 50 Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 51 Koen Barbe (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:47
fra FRA 52 Stéphane Poulhies (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:50
fra FRA 53 Jean Luc Delpech (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:58
bel BEL 54 Andy Cappelle (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:02:02
fra FRA 55 Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:02:05
fra FRA 56 Romain Matheou (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:02:08
bel BEL 57 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:02:12
fra FRA 58 Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne Schuller) 00:02:14
fra FRA 59 Gaylord Cumont (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:02:18
pol POL 60 Michal Olejnik (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:02:19
bel BEL 61 Bert De Backer (1t4i) 00:02:22
ned NED 62 Bert-jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 63 Renaud Dion (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 64 Jean Marc Bideau (Bretagne Schuller) 00:02:23
fra FRA 65 Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme Marseille) 00:02:28
fra FRA 66 Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 67 Tristan Valentin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:02:36
fra FRA 68 Maxime Le Montagner (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:02:45
fra FRA 69 Ronan Racault (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:02:46
bel BEL 70 Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:02:50
bel BEL 71 Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:02:56
fra FRA 72 Fabien Bacquet (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:03:05
bel BEL 73 Sven Jodts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:03:14
ita ITA 74 Daniele Colli (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:03:20
fra FRA 75 Loïc Desriac (Roubaix - Lille Métropole) 00:03:54
fra FRA 76 Sébastien Chavanel (Europcar) 00:04:10
fra FRA DNS Cédric Pineau (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat)  
fra FRA DNS Steven Tronet (Big Mat - Auber 93)  

Final general classification:

Country Result Name Team Time
fra FRA 1 Jérome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) 12:40:08
fra FRA 2 Franck Vermeulen (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:00:25
est EST 3 Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:26
fra FRA 4 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) 00:00:28
fra FRA 5 Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:00:32
bel BEL 6 Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:33
fra FRA 7 Pierrick Fedrigo (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:00:37
fra FRA 8 Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 9 Pierre Luc Perichon (La Pomme Marseille) 00:00:46
fra FRA 10 Julien Antomarchi (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:48
fra FRA 11 Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) 00:00:49
fra FRA 12 Remi Cusin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:51
fra FRA 13 Julien El Fares (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:54
ita ITA 14 Davide Malacarne (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 15 Rémy Di Gregorio (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:56
ned NED 16 Bobbie Traksel (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:00:57
bel BEL 17 Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
aut AUT 18 Georg Preidler (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:59
ned NED 19 Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
ita ITA 20 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:01:01
bel BEL 21 Davy Commeijne (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:02
fra FRA 22 Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
jpn JPN 23 Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) 00:01:04
fra FRA 24 Yannick Martinez (La Pomme Marseille) 00:01:05
bel BEL 25 Leif Hoste (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) s.t.
fra FRA 26 Yannick Talabardon (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:07
ltu LTU 27 Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) 00:01:09
fra FRA 28 Steve Houanard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 29 Kurt Hovelijnck (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:15
fra FRA 30 Dimitri Le Boulch (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
fra FRA 31 Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:16
fra FRA 32 Gael Malacarne (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:20
bel BEL 33 Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) s.t.
gbr GBR 34 Mark Mcnally (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) s.t.
fra FRA 35 Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:27
fra FRA 36 Arnaud Gerard (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:32
fra FRA 37 Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) 00:01:33
fra FRA 38 Matthieu Sprick (1t4i) 00:01:36
bel BEL 39 Staf Scheirlinckx (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:01:37
fra FRA 40 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:01:40
fra FRA 41 Stéphane Poulhies (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 42 Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:41
fra FRA 43 Anthony Geslin (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:43
bel BEL 44 Koen Barbe (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:01:45
fra FRA 45 Jean Luc Delpech (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:58
bel BEL 46 Andy Cappelle (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:02:02
fra FRA 47 Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:02:05
fra FRA 48 Romain Matheou (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:02:08
ned NED 49 Bert-jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:02:22
fra FRA 50 Jean Marc Bideau (Bretagne Schuller) 00:02:23
fra FRA 51 Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun) 00:02:47
bel BEL 52 Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) 00:02:56
ita ITA 53 Daniele Colli (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:03:20
fra FRA 54 David Lelay (Saur-Sojasun) 00:03:55
bel BEL 55 Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:03:56
fra FRA 56 Renaud Dion (Bretagne Schuller) 00:04:53
bel BEL 57 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:05:15
fra FRA 58 Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne Schuller) 00:05:17
fra FRA 59 Gaylord Cumont (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:06:34
bel BEL 60 Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:06:47
ger GER 61 Simon Geschke (1t4i) 00:06:51
fra FRA 62 Ronan Racault (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:08:06
bel BEL 63 Dominique Cornu (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:08:47
fra FRA 64 Loïc Desriac (Roubaix - Lille Métropole) 00:09:34
pol POL 65 Michal Olejnik (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:10:10
fra FRA 66 Sébastien Chavanel (Europcar) 00:11:14
bel BEL 67 Sven Jodts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:14:22
bel BEL 68 Niko Eeckhout (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...) 00:17:15
fra FRA 69 Tristan Valentin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:18:33
bel BEL 70 Rob Goris (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:20:27
fra FRA 71 Fabien Bacquet (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:24:07
fra FRA 72 Justin Jules (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:25:00
bel BEL 73 Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 00:25:01
fra FRA 74 Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme Marseille) 00:29:35
fra FRA 75 Maxime Le Montagner (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:33:21
bel BEL 76 Bert De Backer (1t4i) 00:34:03

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