uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Having been given a perfect lead-out by Gene and Tulik, Coquard easily distanced Manzin and Duque in the bunch sprint on the final stage of the Route du Sud; Contador took the overall victory

Photo: Sirotti














21.06.2015 @ 15:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bryan Coquard (Europcar) got another great boost of confidence for the French Championships and the Tour de France when he powered to an easy win in the bunch sprint on the final stage of the Route du Sud. The Frenchman was given the perfect lead-out by Yoann Gene and Angelo Tulik and relegated Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ) and Leonardo Duque (Colombia) to the minor positions with a big margin. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished safely in the peloton to take the overall victory.


Last year Bryan Coquard had a solid Tour de France debut and this year he will be back in his home race aiming for his first stage victory in the grand tour. Based on his performance in his warm-up race Route du Sud, he is fully ready to go up against the fastest sprinters in the biggest race in the world.


Coquard came up short in the uphill sprint on stage one where he simply ran out of legs in the finale but one day later he made amends when he took a hugely dominant victory in the uphill battle on stage 2. Today he had the chance to show that he can also win in a flat finish when the final stage of the race came down to the expected bunch sprint.


In the past, Coquard has had a hard time in the fight for positioning and his lead-out train has not been working well. Hence, the technical finale in Gaillac would be a challenge for him but the team delivered a perfect performance to deliver their sprinter to a second victory in the race, showing great improvement in the lead-outs.


However, there was a big risk that Coquard would never have got the chance to show his fast legs. In a very fast start to the race, Europcar decided to send Jerome Cousin into a formidable 10-rider breakaway to avoid a hard day of chasing and that group seemed to be riding away with the win.


Coquard was lucky that Ricardo Vilela (Caja Rural) was an overall danger to race leader Alberto Contador and so Tinkoff-Saxo worked hard all day to keep the gap below the 2-minute mark. This made it possible for Auber 93, Cannondale-Garmin and Radio Popular who were among the few teams to have missed the move, to bring it all back together with less than 2km to go.


Europcar did everything perfectly in the big battle for position, staying close to the front until they went full gas with 800m to go. Yoann Gene made sure that Angelo Tulik and Coquard were the first riders through the final turns and as they exited the final corner, Coquard went full gas. Leonardo Duque tried stay in his wheel but he was no match to his impressive speed and had to settle for third after being passed by Lorrenzo Manzin just before the line.


Contador finished safely in the bunch and so took the overall victory in his debut at the race. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had to settle for second, 17 seconds behind the Spaniard, while Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) was third at 41 seconds.


Latour was also the best young rider while Daniel Martinez (Colombia) won the mountains competition. Romain Hardy (Cofidis) took the points jersey while Radio Popular was the best team.


With the Route du Sud done and dusted, most riders turn their attention to the national championships that take place during the coming week. The next major UCI race in France is the Tour de France which starts in less than 2 weeks.


A flat stage

After the queen stage, the sprinters were expected to be back in action on the final day which brougt the riders over 166km from Revel to Gaillac. After a rolling first half with two category 3 climbs, the second half was significantly flatter, meaning that a bunch sprint was the expected outcome.


It was a perfect day for a bike race when the riders gathered for the start as it was beautiful sunshine and a 22-degree temperature. All riders who finished yesterday’s stage were present as they rolled through the neutral zone.


A fast start

As it is often the case in final stages of stage races, it was a very fast start with lots of attacks and this was too much from Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne) who was dropped after just a few kilometres. Moments later Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r) escaped and they managed to build an advantage of 10 seconds. However, their move was neutralized.


The next breakaway was made up of 10 riders but Tinkoff-Saxo rode very attentively to shut it down. They all brought back a subsequent move of 12 riders.


A closed railroad crossing

The attacking continued but Tinkoff-Saxo did not allow anyone to escape. Hence, some riders were relieved to get a small break when the race was neutralized at a railroad crossing.


Edwin Avila (Colombia) launched a solo attack but Tinkoff-Saxo quickly brought him back. Meanwhile, Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) had to work hard to rejoin the peloton after a puncture.


A strong break

The riders were still together when they reach the first climb after 43km of racing where Fabio Duarte (Colombia) beat Julien El Fares (Marseille), Pierrick Fedrigo (Bretagne) and Jerome Cousin (Europcar) in the KOM sprint. However, the elastic snapped just after they had crested the summit as those four riders were joined by Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r), Francis Mourey (FDJ), Christian Mager (Cult), Romain Hardy (Cofidis), Mikel Bizkarra (Murias Taldea) and Ricardo Vilela (Caja Rural) to form a very strong 10-rider group that quickly got an advantage of 1.20 as the peloton took a short breather.


Hardy beat Vilela and Mourey in the first intermediate sprint to extend his lead in the points competition while the peloton continued to lose ground. The gap went out to 2.05 after 55km of racing before the main group reacted by upping the pace.


Tinkoff-Saxo in control

The gap now started to come down and at the 62km mark, Tinkoff-Saxo had brought it down to 1.45. However, it was difficult to control this strong group which managed to extend the advantage to 2.10 as they entered the final 100km.


The gap was relatively stable for a while but the escapees had the upper hand. With 80km to go, they had extended their advantage to 2.50 but after the feed zone Tinkoff-Saxo upped the pace. 15km later, they had brought the gap down to 2.00 and riders, including Loic Chetout (Cofidis), were now getting dropped from the peloton.


Puncture for Mourey

Mads Pedersen (Cult) abandoned the race while the escapees contested the final intermediate sprint. Here only El Fares showed interest in the points, leading Vilela and Hardy across the line. In the peloton, Ivan Rovny, Oliver Zaugg, Sergio Paulinho and Christoper Juul and Jesus Hernandez had been given the task of setting the pace and they seemed to be content with keeping the gap between 1.30 and 2.00.


Duarte beat Mourey, Hardy and Bizkarra in the second KOM sprint before Mourey punctured out of the lead group but despite a slow wheel change he managed to rejoin his companions. Meanwhile, Tinkoff-Saxo were riding slightly faster than the escapees and had brought the gap down to 1.25 as they entered the final 40km.


Auber 93 start to chase

There was no great cooperation in the breakaway as several riders were skipping turns but they still managed to keep the gap relatively stable as Tinkoff-Saxo had no interest in catching them. Rovny, Paulinho, Hernandez, Zaugg and Juul set a solid pace for most of the day while the rest of the peloton had a relatively easy day.


With 20km to go, the gap was only 1.10 but 5km later the escapees had extended it to 1.20. This was the signal for Auber 93 which was one of the few teams to have missed the move as they started to chase.


Cannondale-Garmin come to the fore

The French team brought the gap down to 1.00 after 3km of chasing before they blew up. Tinkoff-Saxo got back on the front but the Frenchmen quickly recovered and were back on the front with 10km to go when the gap was still 1.00.


Cannondale-Garmin had also missed the move and now they decided to kick into action. Ryder Hesjedal, Davide Villella and Ted King started to work with Auber riders and as there was little cooperation in the front group, the gap was coming down.


The attacking starts

Boavista also came to the fore to contribute to the chase and the faster pace meant that the gap was only 35 seconds with 7km to go. However, the teams were blowing up surprisingly quickly and with 5km to go, the final Auber 93 rider swung off.


At this point, the gap was only 15 seconds and when Duarte suddenly got an unintentional gap, he decided to go full gas. Bizkarra managed to bridge the gap while the rest of the group was highly disorganized.


The break is caught

There was no chase in the peloton but as everyone was fighting hard for position, the gap was melting away. Ivan Basso took a huge turn for Tinkoff-Saxo before Imanol Erviti took over for Movistar.


Just before the chasers were caught, Cousin attacked and he sprinted past Duarte and Bizkarra who were quickly swallowed up. The Frenchman stayed ahead for a little while but with 1.6km to go, he was back in the fold as Armee and Alex Dowsett (Movistar) were now setting the pace.


Dowsett remained on the front until Miguel Rubiano (Colombia took) over. Imanol Estevez (Murias Taldea) was next but it was an Armee rider who was the first rider to pass the flamme rouge. When he swung off, Gene and Tulik made the perfect lead-out for Coquard and from there the utcome was never in doubt.



Bib Shorts vs Cycling Shorts: Which is Better? 22.09.2023 @ 14:57The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21

Currently no news in this list

30 years | today
28 years | today
39 years | today
49 years | today
34 years | today