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"It's been a while since I was at the front. Since the Tour de Langkawi I have been sick. I also suffered from food poisoning. Now the good sensations have returned. On Tuesday I felt much better in the Paris-Camembert," Gauti...

Photo: Sirotti






14.04.2013 @ 10:07 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Cyril Gautier (Europcar) impressed the cycling world with a stunning win in yesterday's rainy and windy Tour du Finistere. Having just recovered from a difficult period with illness, the young Frenchman was happy to be back to his best in one of the hardest one-day races in France.


Relentless attacker Cyril Gautier has been one of the most consistent performers in the most hilly French one-day races. With a victory in the 2010 Route Adelie Vitre and two podium places in the Boucles du Sud Ardeche, he has made several displays of his capabilities on hilly courses.


This year the young Frenchman has, however, been a shadow of his former self and he has not been competitive in most of the many one-day races held in France during the last couple of weeks. A bout of illness has brought him down and considerable weakened the usually strong Frenchman.


Yesterday's victory in the Tour du Finistere signalled his return to form and was just his second as a professional. A relieved Gautier was happy to put his recent problems behind him.


"It's been a while since I was at the front," he said. "Since the Tour de Langkawi I have been sick. I also suffered from food poisoning. Now the good sensations have returned. On Tuesday I felt much better in the Paris-Camembert."


In today's race he emerged as the strongest from an 8-man break which had gone clear as the day's early 16-rider move had been brought back. While the peloton splintered behind under the treacherous conditions, the 8 riders managed to keep their advantage all the way to the finish and when Remi Cusin (IAM) attacked his companions, Gautier was right in his wheel. He ended up taking the victory ahead of Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil) and Anthony Geslin (FDJ).


"Today it was a great race," he said. "We had Perrig Quémeneur in the first breakaway. On the Mur de Laz, Geslin attacked. Iwas able to follow him. The gap grew slowly. At last it was just a race between the escapees. This time I kept m composure. I am usually too eager but this time I really wanted to win. I am really happy to win in Finistere, in Brittany, and I dedicate the victory to my family."


The weather once again showed just how treacherous racing in Brittany can be but having endured this year's extremely cold weather, Gautier has now learned how to handle the harsh conditions.


"The weather conditions were difficult but they were the same for everyone," he said. "This time I was prepared. In the Classic Loire Atlantique it was too much. I had left the start without enough clothes. I did not make a similar mistake today. It was better to stay warm in the first part of the race and then take off some clothes towards the end."


Gautier's victory was the 13th for his French Europcar in a highly successful season for Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's riders.



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