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The final stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne is decided in a bunch sprint where Gené beats Van Asbroeck and Jans while Rossetto finishes safely in the bunch to win the race overall

Photo: A.S.O.












08.06.2014 @ 17:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yohann Gené (Europcar) got a rare chance to sprint for himself in today’s final stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne and the fast Frenchman didn’t disappoint his hard-working teammates as held off Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Roy Jans (Wanty) to take the win. Stephane Rossetto (BigMat) was perfectly protected by his teammates all day and won the race overall ahead of Brice Feillu (Bretagne) and Mike Teunissen (Rabobank).


Yohann Gené is known as a pretty fast rider but in a team where much of the sprinting focus is on Bryan Coquard, the Europcar rider rarely gets the chance to do a bunch sprint on his own. Today he saw an opportunity to chase a personal result when the final stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne came down to the expected bunch sprint and the Frenchman again proved that he has a very fast finish by taking his first victory of the season.


The Europcar had taken a back seat throughout much of the stage as prologue winner Jimmy Engoulvent was part of the early breakaway but when that group was brought back, they put their complete faith in Gené. The team took control in the final in an attempt to set up their fast finisher for his first win since last year’s Route du Sud and in the sprint, he paid back their hard work by beating Tom Van Asbroeck – who was second for the second day in a row – and Roy Jans who was actually leading out his Wanty teammate Danilo Napolitano.


For Stephane Rossetto, it was a pretty calm day in the saddle and he was perfectly escorted to the finish by his small BigMat team that rose to the occasion and perfectly defended their overall lead. Hence, the strong French climber again recommended himself for the WorldTour teams by winning the four-day race overall after having taken a stage win in last year’s Tour du Limousin.


Brice Feillu crowned an aggressive race by taking second overall and generally proved that he is fully ready to be one of the Bretagne leaders in the Tour de France. Young Mike Teunissen showed that there is a lot to come from him as he took third overall after having briefly led the race for a single day.


Van Asbroeck got the just reward for his consistency by winning the points jersey while Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme) was the best climber. Teunissen was of course the best young rider while Bretagne took a deserved win in the teams classification after a very aggressive showing.


Racing in France continues over the next 7 days with the Criterium du Dauphiné and then it is onto the four-day Route du Sud in the Pyrenees where many of the riders from the Boucles de la Mayenne will be back in action.


A flat final stage

After yesterday’s queen stage, it was back into flatter terrain as the Boucles de la Mayenne ended with 1 172km final stage from Le Horps to Laval. The opening 147km section had a few small climbs but the race ended with 5 laps of a 5km finishing circuit that seemed to be tailor-made for a bunch sprint.


Rick Ottema (Veranclassic) was the only non-starter when the peloton took off for their ride under beautiful weather conditions. Bretagne showed their aggressive intentions when Arnaud Gerard launched an early attack but it was the counterattack by Evaldas Siskevicius (La Pomme) that was the successful one.


More riders bridge the gap

The Lithuanian was joined by Florian Senechal (Cofidis) and Engoulvent while Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Florian Vachon (Bretagne) bridged the gap after a short chase. A little later, Simone Antonini (Marchiol) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne) made the junction to make it a 7-rider breakaway.


Delaplace was sitting just 46 seconds behind Rossetto on GC and so the BigMat team took control immediately. While Antonini scored maximum points on the first climb, they slowly allowed the gap to grow to a maximum of 3.30 when 140km still remained.


Several teams lead the chase

The small continental team got some assistance from Quentin Jauregui (Roubaix) and those two combined forces to keep the gap stable for some time. Meanwhile, Delaplace beat Engoulvent and Senechal in the first sprint to reduce his overall deficit to 43 seconds.


In the peloton, BigMat got support from Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) and Nico Sijmens (Wanty) and this had an effect. 100km from the line the gap was down to 2.15 and for most of the day, it stayed between the 2.00 and 2.30 marks.


Le Bon falls off the pace

Le Bon was dropped from the lead group but managed to rejoin the leaders. When he fell off again a little later, it was over for good and the Frenchman fell back to the peloton.


Under the impetus of Roubaix, BigMat, Ag2r and Wanty, the peloton started to accelerate and with 50km to go, they had the gap down to just 1.30. As they crested the summit of the final climb of the race 40km from the line, it was less than a minute which prompted Anthony Geslin (FDJ) to try to bridge the gap.


FDJ ride aggressively

When he was brought back, his teammate Benoit Vaugrenard made a similar attempt but he had no success either. Instead, the front group was brought back 34km from the line.


Geslin made another unsuccessful attack while Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r) had a very untimely puncture as the peloton hit the finishing circuit. He never made it back to the front and so was out of the running for the stage win.


All set for a bunch sprint

As they passed the line for the first time, La Pomme and Nakang had taken control. Ag2r and La Pomme took over and they kept the pace so fast that it was impossible to escape.


With 10km to go, Geslin made his third attack but again it was impossible to get clear. Instead, Europcar hit the front and Engoulvent and Bryan Nauleau led the group onto the final lap.


While a tired Dumoulin dropped off after a hard day’s work, Topsport and Europcar battled for control on the front. Those two teams would ultimately decide the stage win and it was Gené who beat Van Asbroeck in the bunch sprint to bring a successful race for Europcar to an end.



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