Lloyd Mondory sprints to Etoile de Besseges stage 2
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lloyd Mondory sprints to Etoile de Besseges stage 2

by Ben Atkins at 3:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Etoile de Bessèges
Another second place gives Anthony Ravard the race lead

Lloyd MondoryLloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) won the second stage of this year’s Etoile de Besseges between Nîmes and Saint-Ambroix in a bunch sprint. He beat his own teammate Anthony Ravard, in a photo finish, for an AG2R La Mondiale 1-2, with Aldo Ilesic (Team Type 1) in third at the end of the 149.4km stage.

"It's great!” Mondory exclaimed after his victory. “This is such an unexpected victory that I didn’t even have the time to raise my arms. It is a nice reward after yesterday where Anthony [Ravard] missed out on victory by so little.

“Today, instructions were the same as in the first stage and the team worked to give Anthony the opportunity to win,” he explained. “I had to take him into the finish but lost sight of him 1.5 km from the line. I went back in the peloton but we found ourselves quite far apart. I asked myself if I had to do my own sprint or not, but finally Anthony was relieved that it was me who passed him on the line!

“This is a nice win to start the season for the team and I'm happy for myself and for the group.

“I thank Vincent Lavenu, who has believed in me for eight years and our sponsor AG2R La Mondiale,” he added, “whose colours I have defended since my professional debut; without them, I couldn't live moments like these. Of course, I also thank my wife and my two children, to whom I often say that you need to fight and give the best of yourself in all what you do.

“Today I'm proud to show them the example.”

The stage was dominated by a long solo break from Bram Schmitz (Verandas-Willems-Accent), who managed to pull out a lead of 8 minutes as the race crossed the two 2nd category climbs of the day. The FDJ team of stage 1 winner Yauheni Hutarovich began to work to pull back the Dutchman though, to protect the overall lead of the Belarusian sprinter.

With 40km to go Schmitz was caught, just as he began the first of six 7.3km finshing circuits, but this may have been too soon as there was an almost immediate move from Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha).

The three riders managed to pull out a gap but with the sprinters teams determined to deliver their men to the line it was always doomed to fail and they were caught on the last lap with 6km to go.

The two AG2R La Mondiale sprinters became separated as the peloton accelerated towards the line and Mondory came past his teammate Ravard right on the line to take his first victory since the 2008 Paris-Corrèze.

Ravard got some consolation though, as the time bonuses from his two consecutive second places gave him the race leader’s jersey.

Result stage 2
1. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
2. Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
3. Aldo Ilesic (Slo) Team Type 1
4. Stéphane Poulhiès (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
5. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
7. Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil-Shimano
8. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1
10. Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet

Standings after stage 2
1. Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
2. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 2s
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ @ 8s
4. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Verandas Willems-Accents


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