Tour du Limousin: Gallopin uses late kick to secure stage two win
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tour du Limousin: Gallopin uses late kick to secure stage two win

by Bjorn Haake at 2:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Leukemans stays in yellow despite losing precious seconds to Frenchman

tony gallopinTony Gallopin escaped a 45-man peloton in the last couple of kilometers of stage two of the Tour du Limousin to celebrate a solo win. Race leader Björn Leukemans finished in the small pack, six seconds behind Gallopin, to conserve his yellow jersey. Leukemans is still nine seconds ahead of Florian Guillou, but Gallopin closed the gap from 31 to 14 seconds in the overall.

It was Gallopin's second win of the season (he won the Flèche d'Emeraude in April), and an unexpected one at that. "I didn't really see myself to be going that strongly," he said after the race, according to directvelo.com. After the Tour de France, he only rode the Polynormande and otherwise rested a lot. "I started again little by little." But his planning seemed to have gone well. "I think the Olympic test race that I did with the French team has put me back into a good condition."

He said that often in such races the first stage is the hardest, but this time was different. "I told my teammates yesterday [after stage one -ed.] that I was surprised that I was going well." Other factors were against him. "Today we were on a tough course which is not usually to my liking." In the end there was quite a bit of activity. "Off they went and I followed," Gallopin said.

He then made his decisive move. "I attacked two kilometers from the line and I went off solo. It is a tactic that I used often enough as a junior, where I was more of a power horse than a sprinter."

The other surprised rider was Leukemans. "I didn't come to the Tour de Limousin to win, but our team was at the front and was pulling," he said. "We defended the leader's jersey. We didn't get any help, so it was very hard." Leukemans had a feeling after yesterday's win that it would be that way. "I expected that because it is always like this in France. Once we have the leader's jersey, nobody helps us."

He regretted the fact that the team has only seven instead of eight riders. At least the weather played along for the Belgian. "It was hot, but I like the heat." What he didn't like about the leader'sjersey was the design, with the zipper not opening all the way.

Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1) was third on the day and was a bit knackered at the finish. "In the end it just went up and down. On top of that there were attacks all over the place. It was hard to know who had good legs." With five kilometers to go Kocjan was in a group of seven. "My teammate Laszlo Bodrogi pulled the group, he made a big effort."

Then came Gallopin's attack. "I was in third or fourth position and Laszlo Bodrogi was still pulling to get back to Gallopin,"Kocjan said. "In the end I found myself on the wheel of Mathieu Ladagnous. We finished within a few centimeters of each other."

Anthony Geslin (FDJ) figured in three of the four mountain points, for a total of 20 points and kept his lead in the KOM jersey. "When I attacked today it was really to get the bonus seconds," he said after the race. It was hard to get into the move for him, but once he was in he wasn't going to do the typical sharing. "In the break I went after the mountain points to consolidate my KOM lead as well as the bonus seconds. It was hard because it was hot."

Geslin subtracted five seconds of his overall time through the bonifications. "The race isn't over yet. The Vacansoleil team is very solid, but maybe I can collect more bonus seconds to get closer in the general classification."

A quartet rides through France

Maxime Médérel (Big Mat-Auber 93) was the first who received some leeway, after 40 kilometers of racing. He was quickly joined by Geslin, Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and Antoine Lavieu (Cofidis) and the quartet had three minutes on the bunch after 50 kilometers of racing.

The maximum gap was 3'40 (kilometer 58), before slowly dropping back. At the final sprint of the day, in Pompadour at km 103, the gap was down to 2'15. Arashiro received maximum points, ahead of Geslin and Médérel.

The climb over the Côte d'Estivaux, which Geslin won, really decimated the gap. It was less than a minute, with still over 50km to race. Médérel escaped solo, while the others sat up. Initially, the solo escape was fruitful and the gap went back up to 2'15 (49km to go). The bunch caught Médérel with nine kilometers to go.

Results stage two

    1.             GALLOPIN Tony         COF         5h00'26"     
     2.             LADAGNOUS Matthieu         FDJ         06"     
     3.             KOCJAN Jure         TT1         06"        
     4.             TURGOT Sébastien         EUC         06"     
     5.             GARCIA ETXEGUIBEL Egoitz         CJR         06"              

    GC after stage two

    1.     [BELGIQUE]    LEUKEMANS Björn         VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM     09:00:08    
2.     [FRANCE]    GUILLOU Florian          BRETAGNE - SCHULLER     09:00:17     + 00' 09''
3.     [FRANCE]    GALLOPIN Tony         COFIDIS, LE CREDIT EN LIGNE     09:00:22     + 00' 14''
4.     [BELGIQUE]    DEGAND Thomas         VERANDA'S WILLEMS - ACCENT     09:00:28     + 00' 20''
5.     [FRANCE]    LADAGNOUS Matthieu         FDJ     09:00:31     + 00' 23''
6.     [FRANCE]    GESLIN Anthony         FDJ     09:00:33     + 00' 25''
7.     [JAPON]    ARASHIRO Yukiya         TEAM EUROPCAR     09:00:34     + 00' 26''
8.     [SLOVENIE]    KOCJAN Jure         TEAM TYPE 1 - SANOFI     09:00:35     + 00' 27''
9.     [FRANCE]    BIDEAU Jean-Marc          BRETAGNE - SCHULLER     09:00:35     + 00' 27''
10.     [FRANCE]    FEDRIGO Pierrick         FDJ     09:00:36     + 00' 28

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