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"Without Anthony Delaplace, I don't think I would have won. I have had a lot of places on the podium, but I had not yet won. I needed this victory," Fonseca says




06.06.2014 @ 19:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Armindo Fonseca has been so close to his first professional victory on a number of occasions but for more than three years the win has eluded him. Today he finally broke the drought when he won the second stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne.


In his first three professional seasons, Armindo Fonseca has very often been close to his first professional victory but apparently the fast sprinter and strong climber seems to have always lacked that little extra that makes the difference between a place of honour and a win. Today he finally took that elusive triumph when he won the first stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne.


Being no pure sprinter, Fonseca knew that he was unlikely to win a bunch sprint and so decided to go on the attack. First he was part of an unsuccessful attempt to bridge across to the remnants of the early breakaway but when that had failed, he refused to give up.


When a 6-rider group took off, he was again part of the action and this time they bridged the gap to the front trio. One of the riders in the early breakaway was his teammate Anthony Delaplace and he proved to be very valuable in the finale.


A 20-rider group took off in pursuit while the peloton with overall leader Jimmy Engoulvent fell far behind, and the chasers were about to make the junction with 5km to go. At that point, however, Delaplace sacrificed himself for his teammate and his hard work ensured that the break stayed away to the finish.


In the sprint from the 7-rider front group, Fonseca proved to be the fastest as he beat Matto Belli and Mike Teunissen. A few seconds later, Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen) won the sprint of the chasers while the peloton lost more than 5 minutes.


"We knew we had to be present in the breakaways," Fonseca told Directvelo. "It was necessary not having to chase. Early in the race, it was Anthony Delaplace in the break. If groups emerged later on, it was up to me to join them. That's what I did.

"When we joined the lead group, Anthony said he would ride for me and I would win the stage. He trusted me and did a great job. He neutralized all attacks. He told me that if we got over the last climb, I would definitely win. He did everything to take care of the counterattacks and made sure that the chasers didn't catch us. In that group, there were several sprinters.

"I feared Kevin Seeldraeyers who was very strong, but also all the riders in the group, because it was a special sprint. We battled all day, it was not easy.


"I am happy because it is a team win. Without Anthony Delaplace, I don't think I would have won. I have had a lot of places on the podium, but I had not yet won. I needed this victory.

"Now our goal is to win the overall with Arnaud Gérard or Brice Feillu. It will not be easy, but we will fight. Tomorrow, we'll see what happens. We will have no regrets."

"It's great for the entire Bretagne team," Delaplace said. "It's been a while since our last win, and we were getting impatient. I spent the day in the break. Armindo joned us later when I was spent but it motivated me even more. 


"He did not believe in his chances in the last two laps. I told him that we would go all the way and he would win the sprint. On the last lap, I sacrificed myself for him, to bring it down to a sprint from this small group of nine riders. I managed to do so.


"I'm really happy for him. It means a lot for both of us. Now things will turn around for him. He lacked confidence in his abilities and that was caused by the missing win. Armindo has great legs and this win is long overdue.I hope this one will be the beginning of a long series. 


"This is a good day for us as Brice Feillu and Arnaud Gerard, who were best placed overall, were in the chase group. They were not trapped in the peloton that lost more than six minutes. This bodes well for the difficult stage tomorrow. 


"With my work today,it will be difficult to expect something tomorrow. Brice and Arnaud will be the priority in the second stage. There are able to win overall. We have confidence in them."


While Delaplace is guaranteed a spot on the roster for the Tour de France, Fonseca has done a lot to recommend himself by winning today's stage.



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