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"I was not afraid of getting dropped and I had hoped to finish 3rd to take time bonuses. But there's nothing to say. Stéphane was really strong today," Feillu says

Photo: Sirotti

ARNAUD GERARD

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

BOUCLES DE LA MAYENNE

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

BRICE FEILLU

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
08.06.2014 @ 11:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One day after the stage win with Armindo Fonseca, Bretagne were again in the mix on the queen stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne. Arnaud Gerard and Brice Feillu helped blow the race to pieces but in the finale they came up short against Stephane Rossetto (BigMat) who narrowly denied them the overall lead.

 

Bretagne is gearing up for the Tour de France and based on their performance in this week’s Boucles de la Mayenne, they are fully ready for the upcoming challenge in the world’s biggest race. Armindo Fonseca won Friday’s first stage of the race and yesterday the team almost took the overall lead in the queen stage.

 

When the peloton entered the finishing circuit containing the steep Cote de Montaigu, climber Brice Feillu to things into his own hands and helped blow the race to pieces. Later both he and Arnaud Gerard  the team’s two designated GC riders – joined a strong group that bridged across to the remnants of the early break.

 

Most of the riders in the 11-rider group stayed away to the finish and the Bretagne pair were among the best-placed in the overall standings. On the climb to the finish, however, they say Eliot Lietaer escape to take the win and Stephane Rossetto take the important 3rd place with its four bonus seconds and so claim the overall lead.

 

Feillu and Gerard finished 4th and 6th respectively and now finds themselves in 2nd and 4th in the overall standings, 7 and 13 seconds behind Rossetto respectively.

 

"Before the finishing circuit, I worked hard to get back to the front group,” Feillu said. “With three laps to go we wanted to blow the race apart. But it was a little too early. At this time, precisely when the peloton started to accelerate, I had just finished a hard turn on the Cote de Montaigu and was a little in the red. When they attacked; I followed the wheels. 

 

“I still had good legs in the leading group of 11 riders, but I felt that Stephane was a step above the rest. I was not afraid of getting dropped and I had hoped to finish 3rd to take time bonuses. But there's nothing to say. Stéphane was really strong today.”

 

"I felt good,” Gerard said. “600 meters from the finish I was on Rossetto’s wheel but then I had cramps. That happens very rarely. Of course, it happens today. 

 

“I'm really disappointed because I had the legs to win. I could have taken the yellow jersey. It's like that, I can’t change it. 

 

“Today, it was a great race by the Bretagne team. The six riders who are here, really animated the racing. We are homogeneous. This bodes well for the coming weeks.”

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