Romain Feillu trying to make the most of a lean 2012 season
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Romain Feillu trying to make the most of a lean 2012 season

by Kyle Moore at 12:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
No Vuelta for French sprinter, will target Tour de l’Ain, Tour du Limousin

Romain FeilluRomain Feillu is one of several sprinters on the Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM, along with Kris Boeckmans and Kenny Van Hummel, and the Frenchman has struggled to get his 2012 season rolling after a solid campaign last year.

After getting eight wins in 2011, Feillu has yet to open his account this season. The best result he can point to in 2012 is a runner-up finish in the GP Pino Cerami, a Belgian 1.1 race, behind Gaëtan Bille of Lotto-Belisol. He started the Giro d’Italia but dropped out during the sixth stage, following up a DNF he picked up in the Tour de France last year.

This season, Vacansoleil-DCM went with Boeckmans and Van Hummel over Feillu for the Tour de France, and while Feillu originally planned to race the Vuelta a España, he has come to a mutual decision with his team to forgo the season’s final Grand Tour in favour of several smaller races. Feillu will hope to perform well in the Tour de l’Ain and the Tour du Limousin in order to earn a spot on the French world road race squad.

Feillu should carry better form into the late summer, after picking up two top five finishes recently in the Tour de Wallonie.

“We managed to get Pim Ligthart into third overall, which led me to put my ambitions aside a little,” Feillu told Velochrono about his Wallonie race. “On a personal level, I suffered on the toughest stage. It was not easy, but I didn’t force it on purpose. But better times are coming.”

After originally hoping to do the Vuelta, Vacansoleil-DCM released a long list that did not include Feillu’s name. With few opportunities for a true bunch sprint, Feillu and his management figured that more ideal options were elsewhere.

“It was discussed,” Feillu said of his passing over for the Spanish Grand Tour. “I was told that the course is very difficult. Therefore, we chose together to not race it. There are other races going on at the same time that I like well, [such as] the GP Ouest France-Plouay, the GP de Fourmies, and Paris-Bruxelles.”

Along with the Tours de l’Ain and Limousin, Feillu is likely to target the final portion of the Coupe de France. He’ll do the Châteauroux Classic de l’indre on August 19 and the Breton Classic on August 26. “I hope to reap the benefits there, even if the course is hard,” Feillu stated.

In terms of the World Road Race Championship, Feillu knows he will need to show more in order to earn a selection. “I know it’s a race against time, because many French riders are doing well,” he added.

Even with fewer opportunities this season, Feillu maintained an honourable attitude of humility and perspective, admitting that he hadn’t earned an Olympic spot in London.

“This is not necessarily an easy situation, but other riders are doing well, starting with Kris Boeckmans and Kenny Van Hummel,” Feillu concluded. “I’ve had less success and I’m a shade or two below my level from last year, so it’s pretty logical that things are going to get better.”


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