Thomas Voeckler wins Tour of Med opener as breakaway just makes it
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Thomas Voeckler wins Tour of Med opener as breakaway just makes it

by Ben Atkins at 1:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
French champion gets his first win of the season and takes overall lead

thomas voecklerThomas Voeckler (Europcar) won the opening stage of the Tour of the Mediterranean between Maubec-Coustellet and Pertuis, outsprinting the rest of a five-man breakaway group. The French champion beat Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) on the line as Mangel raised his arms in the belief that he had won, with Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme Marseille) taking third at the end of the 120km stage.

“Every year I win one!” said Voeckler to l’Equipe after his victory. “So it’s a good thing that I’ve done it, now I can relax.”

Voeckler attacked right from the start and was soon joined by Mangel, Vaubourzeix, Javier Iriarte (Movistar) and Rémi Pauriol (FDJ). The group managed to build an advantage of 3’30”, but the sprinters’ teams began to pull them back and with 20km to go the lead had been cut to less than a minute.

With such a small advantage the break appeared to be doomed but the five riders persisted with their efforts and arrived at the finish with the peloton snapping at their heels.

As they sprinted for the line Mangel thought that he had won and sat up to raise his arms; Voeckler was not beaten yet though and he threw his bike past the Saur-Sojasun rider to take the win by half a wheel.

Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) led the peloton home just 3 seconds behind the five-man group.

Result stage 1
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
2. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
3. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
4. Javier Iriarte (Spa) Movistar
5. Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ
6. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ
8. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
9. Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun

Standings after stage 1
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
2. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun @ 4s
3. Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille @ 6s
4. Javier Iriarte (Spa) Movistar @ 10s
5. Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ

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