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"Maybe it was a hunger knock but if this is the case, it is my fault. This is the first time that's happened since joining and the first time it happens in a major target. It's a shame," Demare says

Photo: ASO / B. Bade








07.04.2014 @ 12:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After showing great promise in last year's edition of the race, Arnaud Demare had big ambitions for yesterday's Tour of Flanders but the young Frenchman was left disappointed. A hunger knock left him with no power in the finale and instead it was his teammate Yoann Offredo who battled through bad luck to finish as best FDJ rider in 21st.


Arnaud Demare has done nothing to hide his desire to become a leading contender in the cobbled classics and he showed that he is ready for his biggest objectives but riding well in the Driedaagse van De Panne. To stay fresh for yesterday's Tour of Flanders, he even abandoned that race one day earlier than planned and he took to the start line in Brugge for yesterday's classics full of hope.


It all came to nothing for Demare who had been very close to make it into the group that sprinted for fourth 12 months ago. This year he failed to deliver on that promise as a hunger knock took him out of the race.


"The first 200 km I was great and I encouraged my teammates in their work," he said. "And then suddenly I cracked. Maybe it was a hunger knock but if this is the case, it is my fault.


"This is the first time that's happened since joining and the first time it happens in a major target. It's a shame. It's frustrating and I want to believe that it's part of my learning process in these races. Now I will recover to prepare betterfor Paris-Roubaix."


With Demare out of the race, it was left to Yoann Offredo to defend the colours. The Frenchman battled through bad luck to take 21st.


"I crashed twice and I suffered two punctures," he said. "I returned with Tony Gallopin just before the Taaienberg where the race really accelerated. 


"The peloton was split and when my group came back just before the last passage of the Oude Kwaremont, I thought it was well organized. With Chavanel, with Boasson Hagen, with Sagan ... but in fact it was not the case. 


"We ended up scattered in small groups, but I must also say that bad luck in this race is not ideal. You always pay for it."


FDJ got their race off to a very bad start as one of their key riders Johan Le Bon crashed early in the race.


"You go to live in Belgium for two months..." he said. "I hurt ny should and right knee. I will have it checked tonight."



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