Pozzato times sprint perfectly to triumph in GP Ouest France
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pozzato times sprint perfectly to triumph in GP Ouest France

by Shane Stokes at 5:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Italian beats Nizzolo, Dumoulin and a number of fast sprinters

Filippo PozzatoItalian Classic specialist Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) turned around an at-times frustrating season with a big sprint today, winning the GP Ouest France in Plouay and notching up important WorldTour points in the process.

The Lampre Merida rider was quickest out of a seventy-man group which sprinted for the win after a number of attackers were hauled back, including late moves by Astana’s Enrico Gasparotto and BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet.

He timed his surge perfectly and hit the line ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard), Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol), Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing Team) and the rest of that group.

It was a good morale boost for both him and the Italian team as the world championships approaches.

“Today we raced like a really great team , and always in the front, careful not to leave numerous gaps open,” he said afterwards, adding that the other Lampre-Merida riders helped him back after he had to put his foot to the ground on more than one occasion due to crashes ahead of him.

Because of the headwind, he said that he left it late to hit the front, thus ensuring that he wasn’t slowed like other riders.

“It’s a very important victory for me,” said Pozzato, who previously finished fourth and sixth in the race.

“I’ve had a lot of problems this year with a virus. I never really could hit good form and it was difficult to understand why. Now the virus has gone, and I’m in good form for the end of the season.”

The worlds is on home soil for the Italian team and he hopes to perform there, but also acknowledges that the numerous climbs are not ideal for him. “This victory puts me on track for a great World Championships, even if the course doesn’t really suit me that well,” he said.

Nizzolo was the closest rider to him and said that losing the race was tough mentally. “Second is nice but first is better. When someone passes you so close to the finish, it sucks,” he said. “I felt really good today but because of the crash we missed some guys in the last lap, so that wasn’t good for us.

“In the last lap I tried to follow the attacks and found myself between the attackers and the bunch. I spent too much energy there, I believe. I waited for the field and we brought back the front group.”

He said that he launched his sprint early as he went too late last year and lost out as a result. He was seventh then. His team director Alain Gallopin added that because of the way things played out in the finale today, he had to surge off Hushovd’s wheel when he did, not being able to hold off any longer.

“It’s a tricky finish here and very easy to get boxed in,” said Nizzolo. “But at five or ten meters to go, Pozzato passed me. My performance was super today but the result is not so good. I mean, only winning counts.”

He clearly felt that if the sprint played out differently, he would have triumphed. “If you get beaten by someone who was clearly faster than you, you can live with it. This is a lot harder.”

Dumoulin was third and said he considered it was a good result in what he termed the second most important French one-day race [after Paris-Roubaix – ed.]. However he too had thoughts of what might have been.

“I’m a little bit disappointed by my sprint because victory was close. I’d prepared well for this event and I was in a very good shape,” he said.

“I have felt pretty good throughout the day and the team worked well and applied the instructions. I was in the way of Pozzato when I pulled out but he overtook me in last meters. It would have needed perfect timing to win today, but this third place rank is a great performance in this high level race.”

How it played out:

Early on in the World Tour event, four riders from French teams clipped away and managed to build up a massive lead of over sixteen minutes. Julien Fouchard (Cofidis), Natnael Berhane (Europcar), Vegard Stake Laengen (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) and Sojasun’s Christophe Laborie worked hard to try to stay clear, but their advantage was slashed to less than three minutes by the start of the second-last lap.

They were then brought back before the bell, leading to a stream of new attacks. The first group to open a gap was that of Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), but they were reeled in. Then, inside the last ten kilometres, the trio of Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Kristijan Koren (Cannondale) scurried clear and put some daylight between themselves and the bunch.

It wasn’t enough, however. They were caught on the climb of the Cote de Ty-Marrec and there several attacks were fired off. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) drew Argos Shimano’s John Degenkolb and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) away and these were then joined by six others, but the group never fired properly.

They were reeled in, as was a subsequent attack by Astana’s Enrico Gasparatto plus a second effort by Van Avermaet. That set things up for a big bunch finish, where Pozzato thundered in ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard), Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) and 67 others.

Former Tour de France winners Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck had quiet races. Contador was riding his first major event since the Tour de France and finished one minute ten seconds back in 83rd place. Schleck dropped out approximately halfway through, something which his team later explained as being due to a stomach problem.

GP Ouest France Plouay (WorldTour)

1, Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) 243 kilometres in 5 hours 59 mins 54 secs
2, Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard)
3, Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale)
4, Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol)
5, Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
6, Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing Team)
7, Elia Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
8, Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar Team)
9, Borut Bozic (Astana Pro Team)
10, John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano)
11, Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun)
12, Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar Team)
13, Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
14, Yoann Offredo (FDJ.fr)
15, Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge)
16, Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr)
17, Sébastien Hinault (IAM Cycling)
18, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team)
19, Simone Ponzi (Astana Pro Team)
20, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
21, Matti Breschel (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
22, Enrico Gasparotto (Astana Pro Team)
23, Mathew Hayman (Sky Procycling)
24, Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
25, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)
26, Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
27, Thomas Lövkvist (IAM Cycling)
28, Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
29, Guillaume Levarlet (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
30, Tony Hurel (Team Europcar)
31, Romain Hardy (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
32, Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
33, Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
34, Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
35, Christopher Sutton (Sky Procycling)
36, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling)
37, Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (RadioShack Leopard)
38, Maurits Lammertink (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
39, Eduard Vorganov (Katusha)
40, Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun)
41, Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R La Mondiale)
42, Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Movistar Team)
43, Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
44, Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha)
45, Manuele Boaro (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
46, Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
47, Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
48, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
49, Mads Christensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
50, Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
51, Peio Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
52, Pavel Brutt (Katusha)
53, Julian Kern (AG2R La Mondiale)
54, Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
55, Simon Spilak (Katusha)
56, Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ.fr)
57, Miguel Minguez Ayala (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
58, Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling)
59, Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
60, Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar)
61, Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar)
62, Tony Gallopin (RadioShack Leopard)
63, Brett Lancaster (Orica-GreenEdge)
64, Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
65, Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge)
66, Tom Leezer (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
67, Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
68, Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
69, Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar Team)
70, Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale)
71, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) at 12 secs
72, Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team) at 21 secs
73, Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) at 23 secs
74, Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) at 44 secs
75, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) at 49 secs
76, Petr Ignatenko (Katusha) at 1 min 10 secs
77, Kristijan Koren (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
78, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida)
79, Cristiano Salerno (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
80, Vegard Stake Laengen (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
81, Maarten Neyens (Lotto Belisol)
82, Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
83, Alberto Contador Velasco (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
84, Rudy Molard (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
85, Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
86, Fabien Schmidt (Sojasun)
87, Bert De Backer (Team Argos-Shimano)
88, Karsten Kroon (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
89, Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge)
90, Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp)
91, Francois Parisien (Team Argos-Shimano)
92, Laurent Pichon (FDJ.fr) at 1 min 59 secs
93, Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) at 2 mins 42 secs
94, Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) at 2 mins 49 secs
95, Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Astana Pro Team)
96, Valerio Agnoli (Astana Pro Team)
97, Gaetan Bille (Lotto Belisol)
98, Tom Dumoulin (Team Argos-Shimano)
99, Albert Timmer (Team Argos-Shimano)
100, Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp)
101, David Lopez Garcia (Sky Procycling)
102, Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
103, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team)
104, Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
105, Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida)
106, Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
107, Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) at 3 mins 56 secs
108, Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Merida)
109, Michael Schär (BMC Racing Team)
110, Christophe Laborie (Sojasun)
111, Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team)
112, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team)
113, Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
114, Dirk Bellemakers (Lotto Belisol)
115, Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol)
116, Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) at 4 mins 28 secs
117, Danilo Hondo (RadioShack Leopard) at 6 mins 52 secs
118, Julien Fouchard (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
119, Federico Canuti (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
120, Alan Marangoni (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
121, Marco Bandiera (IAM Cycling)
122, Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar Team)
123, Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R La Mondiale)
124, Perrig Quemeneur (Team Europcar)
125, Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ.fr)
126, Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp)
127, Yury Trofimov (Katusha)
128, Natnael Berhane (Team Europcar)
129, Gabriel Rasch (Sky Procycling)
130, Matthias Krizek (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
131, Jens Mouris (Orica-GreenEdge)
132, Maxim Belkov (Katusha) at 13 mins
133, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) at 17 mins 20 secs

Outside time limit:

Paul Martens (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
Kévin Reza (Team Europcar)

Did not finish:

Adam Blythe (BMC Racing Team)
Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team)
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida)
Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (Movistar Team)
Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard)
Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr)
Benoît Vaugrenard (FDJ.fr)
Bob Jungels (RadioShack Leopard)
Brian Bulgac (Lotto Belisol)
Christopher Juul Jensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
Danny van Poppel (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana Pro Team)
Dominic Klemme (IAM Cycling)
Edwig Cammaerts (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
Geoffroy Lequatre (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)
Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling)
Gert Dockx (Lotto Belisol)
Jean-Marc Marino (Sojasun)
Jérôme Pineau (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Ji Cheng (Team Argos-Shimano)
Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun)
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Sky Procycling)
Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Julien Simon (Sojasun)
Kristof Goddaert (IAM Cycling)
Laurent Didier (RadioShack Leopard)
Martin Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Matthew Harley Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)
Maxime Monfort (RadioShack Leopard)
Mickael Delage (FDJ.fr)
Peter Kennaugh (Sky Procycling)
Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar)
Rémi Pauriol (Sojasun)
Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling)
Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Robert Hunter (Garmin-Sharp)
Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida)
Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
Sander Cordeel (Lotto Belisol)
Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale)
Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
Yann Huguet (Team Argos-Shimano)
Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar)


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