Tour du Haut Var: Samuel Dumoulin wins first stage bunch kick
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tour du Haut Var: Samuel Dumoulin wins first stage bunch kick

by Jered Gruber at 6:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Cofidis sprinter celebrates second victory of young season

Cofidis's Samuel Dumoulin took his second win of the season today in the first stage of the Tour Du Haut Var. The Frenchman, already a winner in the Etoile de Besseges's third stage two weeks ago, was the fastest in a bunch kick following a fast, aggressive first day.

The 168.6 km stage was marked by a three rider break, which included three Frenchmen: Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Dimitri Le Boulch (BigMat), and Benjamin Giraud (La Pomme Marseille).

The trio pulled clear of the field after 26 fast kilometers. Their margin of freedom extended to a maximum of 3:30 at Kilometer 120, but in the final hour of racing, Dumoulin's Cofidis team and Nocentini's AG2R squad made sure that the three escapees were left without a chance.

In the waning minutes of the break, only Vichot and Le Boulch remained at the head of affairs. Saxo Bank's neo-pro, Manuel Boaro, bridged up to the duo, but they were spent from the day's efforts, so were of little help to the motivated young rider. The break was retrieved with six kilometers to the line, paving the way for a bunch kick.

Afterwards, Dumoulin was pleased with his efforts. "I've felt good since last week. It was very tight in the last kilometers. I was watching Rinaldo. Tomorrow, I will keep fighting," said the 30 year old to

Tomorrow will be a tough one for the riders. The second stage is 207 kilometers long and includes two tough ascents of the Cote de Tuilieres - the first after 60 kilometers, and the second coming with only 14 kilometers remaining. The climb features a 500 meter section that hits 25%. It will certainly cause an explosion in the field the final time over the climb - the only question is how many riders will come to the finish together.

Stage 1 Results
1. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis)
2. Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R)
3. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
5. Cedric Pineau (FDJ)


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