Ag2r La Mondiale hails Péraud’s result
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ag2r La Mondiale hails Péraud’s result

by VeloNation Press at 3:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 
Third on Col d’Eze called ‘the satisfaction of the week’

In the end it wasn’t the stage win it threatened for several hours to be, but the Ag2r La Mondiale team still felt satisfied with the superb showing Jean Christophe Péraud uncorked on the final day of Paris-Nice.

The French team came to the race hoping that its leader Nicolas Roche would hit top form and challenge. That didn’t happen, with the Irishman still lacking a little force at this time of year, but Péraud turned things around when he became the first rider to go under 20 minutes for the Col d’Eze time trial, and hung on when the big names came and went.

Ultimately, he gave way to the final two riders, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil DCM) and the stage winner and 2012 champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling), but the former mountain bike rider and 2009 French time trial champion still clocked up one of the best performances of his career.

“Until today, we hadn't succeeded in fulfilling our objectives on Paris-Nice and this result is the satisfaction of the week,” said team manager Vincent Lavenu. “This is not a victory but it’s a good performance especially given the highly opposition on this Paris-Nice. We end this week on a high note!”

When he crossed the line, Péraud said that he was surprised to beat the twenty minute barrier, but pleased to do so. He admitted then that he didn’t think his time would fend off Wiggins, and so it proved.

He’s still more pleased than frustrated with the outcome. “This is a result that reassures me, even though it’s disappointing to be pushed out of the first place by the two last riders to go,” he said. “I never pretended that I could beat Bradley Wiggins! Today, the satisfaction of the result is more important that the disappointment at the finish.”

Peraud is 34 years of age but his late move to road racing means that he can continue to aim high. He finished ninth overall in last year’s Tour de France, just over ten minutes behind the winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).

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