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"I don't necessaily want to take the leader's jersey. We have seen in these two stages that the race is really disorganized and difficult to control. I am happy to get closer to the lead. The ideal would be to take the yellow j...

Photo: Sirotti






20.08.2014 @ 20:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cyril Gautier took a rare professional victory when he won today's second stage of the Tour du Limousin. Having moved into third in the overall standings, the Frenchman now hopes to take the leader's jersey on the final day.


Being one of the most aggressive riders in the peloton, Cyril Gautier has been close to a victory on a number of occasions in 2014 but until today the victory had eluded the small Frenchman. Today he broke his drought when he used his great puncheur skills to win the hilly second stage of the Tour du Limousin.


After a fast and aggressive day of racing, it all came down to an uphill sprint on the short, steep rise to the finish. Here Gautier proved his sprinting skills by holding off Rebellin and Taaramae to take his first win since last year’s Tour du Finistere.


Gautier was already part of the big 19-rider group that decided yesterday's stage and is now third overall, 15 seconds behind race leade Bjorn Leukemans.


"For sure I'm really happy to win today," he said. "Of course this is not a World Tour race but it's great.The whole team did really well today, we had a rider in all breaks so we were pleased with our tactics. Furtermore, we did not choose to protect Christophe Kern more than me or vice versa. This gave us more freedom and it paid off.


"This win is a relief. Personally, I had not won since the Tour du Finistère last year. But collectively, we have had a lot of success. It makes up for Thomas Voeckler' accident.It was an unfortunate twist of fate. It's nice to win here for the confidence.


"I was patient. The guys naturally protected me throughout the stage. We were in a good position throughout the day. Yukiya (Arashiro) was at the front for a moment, even though it was a hard mission. And Perrig (Quemeneur) made the break that finally went. Finally, Angelo (Tulik) and Kevin (Reza) attacked in the finale.


"I was not good in the first forty kilometres, as this is my first race since the Clasica San Sebastian. The sensations became better as the day progressed. I did not expect to be so good.


"It's true [that my form is still there] even though I didn't think so. I haven't felt good in training sice the Tour de France and I have only done the Clasica San Sebastian and some criteriums but apparently the condition is still good.


"Now I am third overall. Tomorrow it will be very hard but to win the general classification would be a good thing. 


"I don't necessaily want to take the leader's jersey. We have seen in these two stages that the race is really disorganized and difficult to control. I am happy to get closer to the lead. The ideal would be to take the yellow jersey on Friday in Limoges.


"After this I go to the Tour Poitou-Charentes and Plouay and then the Grand Prix of Quebec and Montreal. I will do my best to get selected for the Worlds.

"I don't know if this will help me get selected. If I am selected and don't have a good feeling in the build-up I will prefer another rider to take my place."



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