Etoile de Bessèges: Dumoulin makes successful return to Ag2r La Mondiale
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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Etoile de Bessèges: Dumoulin makes successful return to Ag2r La Mondiale

by Shane Stokes at 3:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Etoile de Bessèges
 
Hivert triumphs overall as Roux wins final TT

Samuel DumoulinReturning again to the team with which he spent four years of his career, Samuel Dumoulin has wasted no time in clocking up his and Ag2r La Mondiale’s first victory of the year.

The 32 year old Frenchman proved quickest in this mass gallop to the line in Ales, beating Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar), Mathieu Drujon (Big Mat - Auber 93) plus the rest of the peloton to win stage 5a of the Etoile de Bessèges.

“Obviously, I’m happy with this victory,” he said afterwards. “This morning, our strategy was to be aggressive to avoid being trapped in splits caused by the wind. I hadn't got good sensations at the start and was caught in the rear of the split. I was not in an ideal physical condition,” he said.

Assisted by his team and other riders who had also been caught out, he gradually made his way back to the front of the race. Dumoulin is a strong sprinter and was clearly one to watch, but admitted to not feeling very confident as the line approached. However he was helped out and everything went perfectly.

“Romain [Bardet] and Maxime [Bouet] helped me in last kilometres when the Europcar’s riders was leading the pack to prepare the sprint for Bryan Coquard,” he continued. “This morning at the briefing, we watched and studied the final part of the race, in particular the last roundabout. It was there, at 500 meters from the finish, that I made my move and I was able to make a difference and to go to win.”

Dumoulin had already shown his strong form with second place in the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise, a race he won last year.

Europcar’s Jérôme Cousin retained his overnight lead at the end of the stage.

The race continued this afternoon with a team time trial over 9.7 kilometres. There, Anthony Roux (FDJ) beat his team-mate Jeremy Roy by three seconds, while Cousin could only place twelfth. It meant that ninth-placed Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) – who had started the stage as Cousin’s closest rival, just three seconds back, was able to overtake his rival and win overall.

Cousin finished four seconds back with Roux a further second behind.


Etoile de Bessèges (2.1)

Stage 5a: Ales 69km


1, Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) 69 kilometres in 1 hours 31 mins 3 secs
2, Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar)
3, Mathieu Drujon (Big Mat - Auber) 93
4, Cyrille Patoux (Roubaix Lille Métropole)
5, Jure Kocjan (Euskaltel Euskadi)
6, Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale)
7, Anthony Roux (FDJ)
8, Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)
9, Tim De Clercq (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)
10, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling) all same time


Stage 5b, Ales time trial:

1, Anthony Roux (FDJ) 9.7 km in 14 mins 45.82 secs
2, Jeremy Roy (FDJ) at 3 secs
3, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil DCM) at 23 secs
4, Arthur Vichot (FDJ) at 28 secs
5, Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) at 30 secs
6, Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos Shimano) at 33 secs
7, Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil DCM) at 35 secs
8, Domencio Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) same time
9, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) at 37 secs
10, Cyril Gautier (Europcar) at 39 secs

Final overall:

1, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) 688 km in 16 hours 29 mins 35 secs
2, Jérôme Cousin (Europcar) at 4 secs
3, Anthony Roux (FDJ) at 5 secs
4, Jeremy Roy (FDJ) at 11 secs
5, Cyril Gautier (Europcar) same time
6, Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) at 17 secs
7, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) at 20 secs
8, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil DCM) at 31 secs
9, Arthur Vichot (FDJ) at 35 secs
10, Julien Antomarchi (La Pomme Marseille) at 36 secs

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