Chavanel, Velits psyched to wear new national champions’ jerseys for Tour prologue
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Chavanel, Velits psyched to wear new national champions’ jerseys for Tour prologue

by VeloNation Press at 8:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
Fuglsang makes a point in Danish TT nationals

Sylvain ChavanelWinner yesterday of the French time trial championship for the fourth time in his career, Sylvain Chavanel states that the jersey will ensure that he’s full fired up for the time trials in the Tour de France.

There are over 100 kilometres against the clock this year and the Omega Pharma Quick Step rider is determined to ride with honour in the jersey. His thirteen second victory yesterday ahead of Jeremy Roy (FDJ BigMat) ensures that he joins Eddy Seigneur as the only other Frenchman to take four titles in the discipline.

"I'm happy that I reached the record of Seigneur," he said after the test. "But for me, the most important thing is that next week I will start at the Tour prologue with this brand new jersey. It will give me a great motivation, and I can't wait to show it off at the Tour."

The victory came after a big battle throughout the event with Roy. The duo were just one second part at the nine and 33 kilometre checkpoints, but Chavanel proved quickest from there to the finish and added a further twelve seconds to his advantage.

“In the last part I went full gas, even if in the last three kilometers I had to fight against the rain. Roy did a great race. He was strong even in Suisse. I knew he would be a competitor,” he said.

Meanwhile his Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mate Peter Velits triumphed in the Slovakian equivalent, beating his twin brother and team-mate Martin in the test. His margin of superiority was fourteen seconds, almost identical to that of Chavanel.

“I am happy…this is my first national time trial title, and I am also happy because we are riding really in our region — our area — me and my brother. So, all of the public was for us and it was amazing to win here.”

Like Chavanel, he’ll also be competing in the Tour de France. “It will be a special thing to take the start of the Tour prologue with this jersey,” he said. “It is a symbol of our country, and with the TV coverage and everything I think all of the Slovak public can be happy to see our flag on my shoulders."

Meanwhile RadioShack Nissan rider Jakob Fuglsang proved best in the Danish championships, perhaps using the occasion to prove a point. Much to his surprise, he was overlooked for his team’s Tour de France selection, with Chris Horner a late call-up, and so instead he’ll race the Tour of Poland.

He’s made clear that he is frustrated by the decision not to bring him to France, and underlined his form yesterday to clock up his second career victory in the event. He beat André Steensen (Glud & Marstrand) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank) in the race, finishing 44 and 57 seconds ahead respectively.

“For a Danish course, it was a pretty hilly,” he said. “It was really nice, but hard. It was constantly up and down with one good climb in the end.”

He’ll also target the road race on Sunday and though he lacks team-mates there, he’ll start the race looking for a top result. “It is a 200 kilometre race with some 3000 metres of altitude. It’s going to be hard. I still believe in my chances…I will go for it. Since I am not selected for the Tour the France, I want to take advantage of my good legs. After the road championship, I will focus on the Tour of Poland.”

Garmin’s Alex Rasmussen would normally be one of the favourites for the race against the clock but had to be content with sixth place, over two minutes back.

French TT Championships:

1, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma Quick Step) 57 mins 34 secs
2, Jeremy Roy (FDJ Big Mat) at 13 secs
3, Yoann Paillot (Top 16) at 1 min 1 sec

Slovakian TT Championships:

1, Peter Velits (Omega Pharma Quick Step) 39 kilometres in 47 mins 36 secs
2, Martin Velits (Omega Pharma Quick Step) at 14 secs
3, Matej Jurco (Whirlpool Author) at 1 min 48 secs

Danish TT Championships:

1, Jakob Fuglsang (RSNT) 39 kilometres in 48 mins 12 secs
2, André Steensen (Glud & Marstrand) at 44 secs
3, Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank) at 57 secs


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