Engoulvent beats Rollin by two hundredths of a second for Poitou-Charentes overall
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Engoulvent beats Rollin by two hundredths of a second for Poitou-Charentes overall

by Bjorn Haake at 4:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Crazy move in final stage puts RadioShack out of contention

jimmy engoulventJimmy Engoulvent took his first ever professional stage race win when he edged out Dominique Rollin for fifth place in the final stage of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes. Engoulvent's Saur-Sojasun teammate Jimmy Casper sprinted to victory of the seven-man group, with the peloton finishing more than a minute behind. RadioShack lost its two podium spots on the final stage.

The seven spent more than 150 kilometers out of the 197-kilometer long final stage ahead of the rest. Engoulvent picked up six bonus seconds versus Rollin's four. This put them in a tie for the overall, so the final sprint had to decide. Engoulvent and Rollin finished fifth and sixth, respectively, five seconds behind Casper. The rule took into account the hundreds of a second, giving the Frenchman the edge over the Canadian.

Engoulvent admitted they profited from other's mistakes, like the AG2R team. "They tried to play the other option, maybe not the best thing to do, given the weather," he told directvelo.com. He called the outcome a just reward for the team. "We took risks on this stage but we didn't have anything to lose. We proved that we are one of the best French teams."

Cervélo's Sports Director, Marcello Albasini, also praised his riders for choosing the right tactic. "The team was really strong today and I was very impressed," he said "We were in front for the entire stage and Jeremy Hunt is a very good team captain. Overall, we won the team's classification and placed second in the GC, not a bad result."

Going into the final stage, Cervélo's Rollin was 44 seconds back and Engoulvent 46 seconds. RadioShack looked like it had the overall in the bag. With one stage left, the US team had Markel Irizar leading the race (tied on time with AG2R's Martin Elmiger) and Haimar Zubeldia just a second back in third place. They also had Jesse Sergent in fifth, but neither RadioShack nor AG2R paid too much attention to the break.

One of the riders in it - Cédric Pineau - almost agreed with the hesitation. "I had no desire to go into the break today, I wanted to wait for the final. But when I saw that it was rainy and windy I thought it wouldn't get to a sprint." He followed the early move initiated by Morgan Kneisky and Mathieu Claude and was eventually rewarded with second place on the day.

It wasn't for the lack of trying, though, as both RadioShack and AG2R had riders in the break. Mathieu Teychenne and José Luis Rubiera crashed, however, and dropped back to the peloton. "This was almost better - if I can say that - for us, because they had their leaders behind. The break was going better once they weren't there anymore," Pineau said.

Pineau tried to surprise the others with a move on the final climb. "I didn't have enough power to keep it up," Pineau admitted. He was caught by Engoulvent, Claude and Thibaut Pinot. Rollin and Kevin Neirynck came back later, with a third rider joining in late. "500 meters from the line Casper came back from behind. When he passed I tried to take his wheel but he was too fast," Pineau said.

Pineau ended second with the same time as Casper, just ahead of Pinot. Claude was three seconds back, then followed Engoulvent, Rollin and Neirynck at five seconds.

With the excitement of the overall changes, it is easy to forget about Casper's victory, but he also played a pivotal part in the general classification standings. "When the break went Jimmy Engoulvent wasn't there. He told me over the radio to wait for him." The two closed the gap to the break. The hilly terrain wasn't really Casper's idea of a sprinter's stage. "I was just hanging on on all the climbs all stage long. We played really well with AG2R-La Mondiale and RadioShack."

Casper then managed to join the front group just before the final corner. "I took the finishing straight on the front. This is a nice victory ahead of the World Championships."

Results final stage - 197,600 km in 4h22'20 (avg. 45,194 km/h)

1 Jimmy CASPER  Saur - Sojasun
2  Cédric PINEAU  Roubaix Lille Metropole 00:00:00
3  Thibaut PINOT  FDJ 00:00:00
4 Mathieu CLAUDE  BBox Bouygues Telecom 00:00:03
5 Jimmy ENGOULVENT  Saur - Sojasun 00:00:05
6 Dominique ROLLIN  Cervélo Test Team 00:00:05
7 Kevin NEIRYNCK  Landbouwkrediet 00:00:05
8  Tony HUREL  BBox Bouygues Telecom 00:01:16
9  Wouter POELS  Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 00:01:16
10  Danilo WYSS  BMC Racing Team 00:01:17

Final overall standings

1 Jimmy ENGOULVENT  Saur - Sojasun
2 Dominique ROLLIN  Cervélo Test Team 00:00:00
3 Martin ELMIGER  AG2R - La mondiale 00:00:28
4 Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE  Team RadioShack 00:00:32
5 Markel IRIZAR ARRANBURU  Team RadioShack 00:00:48
6 Jimmy CASPER  Saur - Sojasun 00:00:50
7  Cédric PINEAU  Roubaix Lille Metropole 00:01:01
8  Wouter POELS  Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 00:01:03
9  Ignas KONOVALOVAS  Cervélo Test Team 00:01:05
10 Kevin NEIRYNCK  Landbouwkrediet 00:01:07
11  Romain LEMARCHAND  Big Mat - Auber 93 00:01:21
12 Gabriel RASCH  Cervélo Test Team 00:02:03
13  Alexander KRISTOFF  BMC Racing Team 00:02:14
14  Tony HUREL  BBox Bouygues Telecom 00:02:47
15  Danilo WYSS  BMC Racing Team 00:02:48



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