Francisco Ventoso sprints to Sarthe stage four after a day of attacks
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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Francisco Ventoso sprints to Sarthe stage four after a day of attacks

by Ben Atkins at 11:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Circuit Cycliste Sarthe
 
Luke Durbridge holds his lead after the peloton shatters on a hilly finishing circuit

francisco ventosoFrancisco Ventoso (Movistar) took his first victory of the season in stage four of the Circuit de la Sarth-Pays de la Loire, between Angers and Pré-en-Pail. After a series of near-misses this season, the Spanish sprinter was finally able to raise his arms in victory as he crossed the line ahead of Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1-Sanofi) and Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis).

Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge), who took over the race lead in the previous day’s time trial, retains his jersey after finishing in the front part of a fragmenting peloton.

“They say that the more difficult a victory is to be notched up, the better it tastes, and that's why I'm so happy, because I suffered really much today," said an elated Ventoso. “The final circuit was really demanding and the group was getting smaller and smaller in every lap. At the last one I struggled to keep the pace as almost all sprinters have been left behind, but I made it.

“The team was crucial for that, because a 15-rider group went apart in the first lap and my team-mates worked for me,” he explained. “If [Jonathan] Castroviejo and [Ignatas] Konovalovas hadn't been there, the group would have stayed away. At the sprint, [RadioShack-Nissan’s Nelson] Oliveira jumped from behind and had a little gap, but there was strong headwind and I waited for the appropriate moment and win with some distance.

“It's true I really needed it because, while in 2011 everything went easy in the first months, this year it was quite the opposite, and for one thing or another I didn't find a victory,” Ventoso continued. “I did not lose confidence in my chances thanks to the team, because they gave me the tranquility I needed in those bad moments. That's why I dedicate this victory to them, from the corporation's CEO to the last of the team staff members.

“I took a lot of time back today and I'm getting closer in the GC,” he added. “There will be bonus seconds at stake tomorrow and a sprint finish is expected, so we have to keep fighting until the end. This is the best way to come to the stop before the Giro.

“I knew I was doing things right, but victories are always needed.”

After the first attack from five riders was immediately pulled back, Romain Matheou (Véranda Rideau-Super U) and Jonathan Thire (BigMat-Auber 93) escaped the peloton after just three kilometres. The two Frenchmen were allowed to steadily build a lead over the peloton and, as Matheou led Thire over the first “Point Chaud” sprint, in Epineux-le-Seguin after 54.4km, they were 4’40” ahead.

The gap continued to grow and, as Matheou took the second sprint in Sainte-Suzanne after 72.3km, it was up to 6’15”; this was as high as it was to get however, and as they headed towards the hilly finishing circuit it began to fall steadily.

Having climbed the Mont des Avaloirs for the first time, the two escapees crossed the finish line, with the five 8.6km finishing circuits to go, they were still five minutes clear. Activity at the front of the peloton would soon see this come down however.

As the peloton hit the Mont des Avaloirs for the third time, a group of 15 riders detached itself from the front. Included in this new breakaway were Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Julian El Fares (Team Type 1-Sanofi), Ben Hermans (RadioShack-Nissan), Sébastien Roseler (Garmin-Barracuda) and Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank), as they crossed the finish line with two laps to go, they were 2’45” behind the two leaders. More significantly though, the group was 40 seconds clear of the peloton, putting Boaro - who started the day just eight seconds behind Durbridge - in the virtual lead.

Steadily though, the peloton reeled the 15 escapers in; at the penultimate crossing of the line the gap was just 28 seconds, and it was finally closed as they hit the climb once more.

The activity in the peloton had drastically cut the gap to the two leaders and, as it dropped to 35 seconds, Matheou went off alone.

The counterattacks began again however, with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) jumping away from the peloton on the Mont des Avaloirs. The two of them soon made contact with Matheou, and were quickly joined by Brutt and Johannes Fröhlinger (Argos-Shimano).

The group of five was quickly hunted down, but the fierce pace on the hilly circuit split the peloton reducing it to less than 40 riders as the final lap began. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda) made a solo break for glory with just three kilometres to go, again chased by Brutt, but the two riders were captured before the finish and Ventoso was the fastest of the remaining sprinters.

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Circuit Cycliste Sarthe (2.1) Stage 4 Results: Angers to Pré-en-Pail, 181.1km:

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
esp ESP 1 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar Team) 04:50:37
fra FRA 2 Julien El Fares (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
fra FRA 3 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
ned NED 4 Michel Kreder (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
fra FRA 5 Florian Vachon (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
bel BEL 6 Jan Bakelants (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
fra FRA 7 Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 8 Anthony Geslin (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
fra FRA 9 Thierry Hupond (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
fra FRA 10 Remi Cusin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
fra FRA 11 Romain Hardy (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
fra FRA 12 Arnaud Gerard (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
por POR 13 Nelson Oliveira (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
aus AUS 14 Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge Cycling Team) s.t.
ita ITA 15 Manuele Boaro (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
fra FRA 16 Anthony Delaplace (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
bel BEL 17 Ben Hermans (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
esp ESP 18 Jesús Lopez Herrada (Movistar Team) s.t.
fra FRA 19 Alexandre Geniez (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
esp ESP 20 Ruben Plaza Molina (Movistar Team) s.t.
fra FRA 21 Sebastien Duret (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
ger GER 22 Johannes Frohlinger (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
rus RUS 23 Pavel Brutt (Katusha Team) s.t.
fra FRA 24 David Lelay (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 25 Pierrick Fedrigo (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
lux LUX 26 Andy Schleck (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
rus RUS 27 Denis Menchov (Katusha Team) s.t.
bel BEL 28 Romain Zingle (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
fra FRA 29 Brice Feillu (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
rus RUS 30 Vladimir Karpets (Movistar Team) s.t.
usa USA 31 David Zabriskie (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
ned NED 32 Thomas Dekker (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
usa USA 33 Andrew Talansky (Team Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:05
ukr UKR 34 Volodymyr Gustov (Team Saxo Bank) s.t.
fra FRA 35 Nicolas Edet (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
slo SLO 36 Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:19
fra FRA 37 Geoffroy Lequatre (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
bel BEL 38 Steven Caethoven (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:02:33
bel BEL 39 Gregory Habeaux (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) s.t.
bel BEL 40 Sebastien Rosseler (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
fra FRA 41 Ronan Racault (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
sui SUI 42 Martin Elmiger (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 43 Raymond Kreder (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
ita ITA 44 Daniele Colli (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
rus RUS 45 Petr Ignatenko (Katusha Team) s.t.
rus RUS 46 Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
fra FRA 47 Romain Matheou (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
fra FRA 48 Christophe Kern (Europcar) s.t.
rus RUS 49 Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha Team) s.t.
fra FRA 50 Rudy Molard (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
fra FRA 51 Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
fra FRA 52 Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
lux LUX 53 Laurent Didier (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
ERI 54 Daniel Teklehaymanot (GreenEdge Cycling Team) s.t.
fra FRA 55 Julien Berard (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 56 Cyril Gautier (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 57 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) s.t.
nzl NZL 58 George Bennett (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
ita ITA 59 Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF Bardiani) s.t.
tun TUN 60 Rafaa Chtioui (Europcar) s.t.
esp ESP 61 Jonathan Nicolas Castroviejo (Movistar Team) s.t.
aus AUS 62 David Tanner (Team Saxo Bank) 00:03:25
rus RUS 63 Maxim Belkov (Katusha Team) s.t.
fra FRA 64 Mathieu Halleguen (Bretagne Schuller) 00:04:48
bel BEL 65 Evert Verbist (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:00:57
fra FRA 66 Mathieu Drujon (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
fra FRA 67 Franck Vermeulen (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
fra FRA 68 Arnaud Courteille (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
fra FRA 69 Francis Mourey (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
fra FRA 70 Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
fra FRA 71 Mathieu Perget (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:06:18
ita ITA 72 Sonny Colbrelli (Colnago CSF Bardiani) s.t.
ltu LTU 73 Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar Team) s.t.
ita ITA 74 Andrea Di Corrado (Colnago CSF Bardiani) s.t.
bel BEL 75 Jurgen Van Goolen (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) s.t.
fra FRA 76 Benoit Jarrier (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
ned NED 77 Pieter Weening (GreenEdge Cycling Team) s.t.
fra FRA 78 Paul Poux (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 79 Nicolas Rousseau (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:06:59
fra FRA 80 Steven Tronet (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
fra FRA 81 Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 82 Jonathan Thire (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:01:13
bel BEL 83 Wim De Vocht (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:08:52
ita ITA 84 Andrea Pasqualon (Colnago CSF Bardiani) s.t.
iri IRI 85 Amir Zargari (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 86 Justin Jules (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
fra FRA 87 Fabien Bacquet (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
fra FRA 88 Kévin Denis (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
fra FRA 89 Freddy Bichot (Team Véranda Rideau-U) s.t.
jpn JPN 90 Takashi Miyazawa (Team Saxo Bank) 00:10:56
ned NED 91 Martijn Verschoor (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
ita ITA 92 Omar Lombardi (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:11:14
ita ITA 93 Marco Coledan (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:11:28
ita ITA 94 Matteo Pelucchi (Europcar) 00:12:32
ukr UKR 95 Oleg Chuzhda (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) s.t.
fra FRA 96 Tristan Valentin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
fra FRA 97 Nacer Bouhanni (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
arg ARG 98 Juan Jose Haedo (Team Saxo Bank) 00:14:26
fra FRA DNF Johan Le Bon (Bretagne Schuller)  
fra FRA DNS Sylvain Georges (Ag2R - La Mondiale)  

General classification after stage 4:

Country Result Name Team Time
aus AUS 1 Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge Cycling Team) 11:52:00
ita ITA 2 Manuele Boaro (Team Saxo Bank) 00:00:08
por POR 3 Nelson Oliveira (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
bel BEL 4 Jan Bakelants (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:13
fra FRA 5 Anthony Delaplace (Saur - Sojasun) 00:00:14
esp ESP 6 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar Team) s.t.
fra FRA 7 Alexandre Geniez (Argos-Shimano) s.t.
fra FRA 8 Pierrick Fedrigo (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) s.t.
esp ESP 9 Ruben Plaza Molina (Movistar Team) 00:00:15
bel BEL 10 Ben Hermans (RadioShack - Nissan) 00:00:18
rus RUS 11 Denis Menchov (Katusha Team) 00:00:19
ned NED 12 Thomas Dekker (Team Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:22
rus RUS 13 Vladimir Karpets (Movistar Team) 00:00:23
fra FRA 14 Remi Cusin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
usa USA 15 David Zabriskie (Team Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:24
esp ESP 16 Jesús Lopez Herrada (Movistar Team) 00:00:25
bel BEL 17 Romain Zingle (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:27
fra FRA 18 Julien El Fares (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:28
fra FRA 19 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:00:29
usa USA 20 Andrew Talansky (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
fra FRA 21 Arnaud Gerard (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:00:30
lux LUX 22 Andy Schleck (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
fra FRA 23 Anthony Geslin (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:00:32
fra FRA 24 Florian Vachon (Bretagne Schuller) 00:00:33
ned NED 25 Michel Kreder (Team Garmin - Barracuda) 00:00:34
fra FRA 26 Romain Hardy (Bretagne Schuller) 00:00:52
fra FRA 27 Thierry Hupond (Argos-Shimano) 00:00:56
fra FRA 28 Brice Feillu (Saur - Sojasun) 00:00:18
fra FRA 29 David Lelay (Saur - Sojasun) 00:01:11
fra FRA 30 Nicolas Edet (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:01:17
fra FRA 31 Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) 00:01:20
fra FRA 32 Sebastien Duret (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:30
fra FRA 33 Geoffroy Lequatre (Bretagne Schuller) 00:01:40
ukr UKR 34 Volodymyr Gustov (Team Saxo Bank) 00:01:50
slo SLO 35 Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:28
ita ITA 36 Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:02:45
rus RUS 37 Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha Team) 00:02:48
ERI 38 Daniel Teklehaymanot (GreenEdge Cycling Team) 00:02:51
bel BEL 39 Sebastien Rosseler (Team Garmin - Barracuda) s.t.
sui SUI 40 Martin Elmiger (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:02:55
ita ITA 41 Daniele Colli (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:37
lux LUX 42 Laurent Didier (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
fra FRA 43 Rudy Molard (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:03:11
fra FRA 44 Julien Berard (Ag2R - La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 45 Romain Matheou (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:03:15
fra FRA 46 Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) 00:03:17
nzl NZL 47 George Bennett (RadioShack - Nissan) s.t.
fra FRA 48 Ronan Racault (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:03:19
esp ESP 49 Jonathan Nicolas Castroviejo (Movistar Team) 00:03:24
ned NED 50 Raymond Kreder (Team Garmin - Barracuda) 00:03:26
tun TUN 51 Rafaa Chtioui (Europcar) 00:03:32
fra FRA 52 Pierre Rolland (Europcar) 00:03:57
rus RUS 53 Maxim Belkov (Katusha Team) s.t.
rus RUS 54 Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:03:58
fra FRA 55 Cyril Gautier (Europcar) 00:00:44
ger GER 56 Johannes Frohlinger (Argos-Shimano) 00:04:23
rus RUS 57 Pavel Brutt (Katusha Team) 00:04:26
fra FRA 58 Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) s.t.
rus RUS 59 Petr Ignatenko (Katusha Team) 00:05:53
fra FRA 60 Franck Vermeulen (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:06:18
fra FRA 61 Mathieu Drujon (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:06:24
fra FRA 62 Mathieu Halleguen (Bretagne Schuller) 00:06:26
ita ITA 63 Sonny Colbrelli (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:06:47
fra FRA 64 Christophe Kern (Europcar) 00:06:49
bel BEL 65 Steven Caethoven (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:06:54
fra FRA 66 Arnaud Courteille (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:10
fra FRA 67 Benoit Jarrier (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:07:25
fra FRA 68 Paul Poux (Saur - Sojasun) 00:07:29
fra FRA 69 Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) s.t.
ltu LTU 70 Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar Team) 00:07:31
bel BEL 71 Gregory Habeaux (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:07:36
fra FRA 72 Jonathan Thire (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:07:39
bel BEL 73 Jurgen Van Goolen (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:07:46
ned NED 74 Pieter Weening (GreenEdge Cycling Team) 00:01:23
fra FRA 75 Francis Mourey (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:28
fra FRA 76 Nicolas Rousseau (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:08:29
fra FRA 77 Steven Tronet (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:08:42
fra FRA 78 Mathieu Perget (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:01:34
ita ITA 79 Andrea Pasqualon (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:09:46
fra FRA 80 Fabien Bacquet (Big Mat - Auber 93) 00:09:47
bel BEL 81 Wim De Vocht (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:01:09
fra FRA 82 Justin Jules (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:10:24
aus AUS 83 David Tanner (Team Saxo Bank) 00:10:32
fra FRA 84 Kévin Denis (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:10:37
ita ITA 85 Andrea Di Corrado (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:10:45
ned NED 86 Martijn Verschoor (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:11:41
bel BEL 87 Evert Verbist (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:12:11
fra FRA 88 Nacer Bouhanni (Equipe Cycliste FDJ - BigMat) 00:01:31
iri IRI 89 Amir Zargari (Ag2R - La Mondiale) 00:13:49
fra FRA 90 Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) 00:14:22
fra FRA 91 Tristan Valentin (Cofidis - Le Credit En Ligne) 00:01:54
ita ITA 92 Omar Lombardi (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:15:24
ukr UKR 93 Oleg Chuzhda (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s) 00:15:25
ita ITA 94 Marco Coledan (Colnago CSF Bardiani) 00:15:34
fra FRA 95 Freddy Bichot (Team Véranda Rideau-U) 00:16:37
jpn JPN 96 Takashi Miyazawa (Team Saxo Bank) 00:18:23
ita ITA 97 Matteo Pelucchi (Europcar) 00:20:23
arg ARG 98 Juan Jose Haedo (Team Saxo Bank) 00:21:36

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