Tour Picardie: Bryan Coquard turns the tables in stage two sprint
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tour Picardie: Bryan Coquard turns the tables in stage two sprint

by Ben Atkins at 3:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
French track specialist beats Marcel Kittel in Bailleul to take race lead

bryan coquardBryan Coquard (Europcar) managed to turn the tables on Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) in the second stage of the Tour Picardie, between Oisemont and Bailleul-sur-Thérain as he managed to overcome the German in the final sprint. Kittel, who had won stage one, opened up his sprint first, but Coquard managed to get onto the German’s wheel and edged in front as they hit the line.

Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the duel for third place, over Yannick Martinez (La Pomme Marseille), while a ten second time bonus for Coquard on the line saw him equal with Kittel on time, with the Frenchman taking the leader’s jersey.

Reactions to follow

A stiff westerly winds blowing across the fast starting peloton saw a group of 15 riders escape in the early kilometres, which included race leader Kittel, with three of his teammates, and local rider Arnaud Démare (FDJ). Over the top of the Côte de Montagne-Fayel, as Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) took the points, the group was just 30 seconds ahead of the peloton, however.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Lampre-Merida - having missed the move - took it upon themselves to chase it down, and the break was neutralised after 43km.

Shortly afterwards Minard escaped again, with Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol), Jose Gonçalves (La Pomme-Marseille), Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka) and Julien Duval (Roubaix-Lille Métropole). The new quintet was five minutes clear after 55km, with Minard taking first place at the intermediate sprints in Quinquempoix, after 100.5km, and Duval taking the points over the Côte de la Neuville-en-Hez for the first time, with 40km to go.

Minard was first again at the first crossing of the finish line in Bailleul-sur-Thérain, with just the 26.5km finishing circuit to go, but - after the AG2R La Mondiale rider tried to stay clear with Gonçalves - the peloton caught up with them with 17km to go.

The peloton climbed the Côte de la Neuville-en-Hez for the second time with 13.5km to go, with Yoann Offredo (FDJ) taking the points, with the sprinters’ teams leading into the finish.

Kittel launched his sprint on the right side of the road, but Coquard was on his wheel and the Frenchman managed to come around in the final metres to take the stage by less than half a wheel.

Result stage 2
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
5. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
7. Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida
8. Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment
9. Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille

Standings after stage 2
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 10s
4. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise @ 11s
5. Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 12s
6. Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment
7. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 16s
8. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
9. Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka

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