Duque continues fine 2010 for Cofidis in Cholet-Pays de Loire
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Duque continues fine 2010 for Cofidis in Cholet-Pays de Loire

by Jered Gruber at 2:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Cofidis's Leonardo Duque succeeded Saxo Bank's 2009 winner, fellow South American JJ Haedo, when he reached the line first in a bunch sprint at the early season French classic, the 1.1 ranked Cholet-Pays de Loire. The soon to be 30 year old Colombian sprinter, has more top tens than it's comfortable to count over the past few seasons, but after 200 kilometers of traditionally aggressive French racing, it was Duque to the line first ahead of Mathieu Ladagnous and Klaas Lodewyck.

The second race of the Coupe de France series was marked by a long breakaway of eight: Anthony Charteau, Anthony Ravard, Sebastien Chavanel, William Levarlet, Renaud Dion, Matteo Carrara, Johan Mombaerts, and Preben Van Hecke. The move animated the proceedings for 160 kilometers before taking on reinforcements from the stars.  With 30 kilometers to go Tour de France stage winners Thomas Voeckler and Pierrick Fedrigo as well as Cyril Gautier and Jeremy Galland rode across. The now 12-man move was doomed to failure however, and met its demise with 9 kilometers to go. From there, the bunch sprint loomed, and after a perfect sprint, it was Leonardo Duque who managed one of the biggest results of his career.

Duque continues a fine March run for Cofidis started by one of the year's biggest surprises, Jens Keukeleire, who himself managed wins at the GP Samyn, a stage of the 3 Days of West Flanders, the overall at West Flanders, and most recently, last week's Nokere Koerse.

Cofidis, which toppled out of the ProTour ranks for 2010, has responded in fine fashion to its newly acquired second division status with nine victories so far in the still young season: Four through Keukeleire, three from Samuel Dumoulin, and one apiece for Amael Moinard and today's winner, Duque.

Duque has been present so far this season, but a podium appearance was lacking up until this afternoon in Cholet. He had managed three top tens leading into today's victory: a 5th and 8th at the Tour of the Mediterranean, as well as a 6th on the 6th stage of Paris-Nice.

Results for the 2010 Cholet-Pays de Loire:
1. Leonardo Duque (Cofidis)
2. Mathieu Ladagnous (FdJ)
3. Klaas Lodewyck (Topsport Vlaanderen)
4. Cedric Pineau (Roubaix Lille)
5. Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil)


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