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"Unlike most riders, I was very pleased with these race conditions and being a little behind in the GC, I thought that I might be able to express myself," Mourey says






06.04.2013 @ 10:08 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Francis Mourey (FDJ) broke his victory drought with an aggressive showing in yesterday's final stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe. Held in cold conditions, it was a hard day of racing, but the French cyclo-cross champion relished the opportunity to race in his preferred weather.


Francis Mourey is mostly known as the leading French cyclo-cross rider but since 2004 he has spent the road season as a professional on the FDJ team. He started off brilliantly by outsprinting David Millar in a stage of the Route du Sud in his debut season but since then victory has eluded the wily Frenchman.


Yesterday's victory signaled an end to the long, dry spell, and it had been a firm target for the French cyclo-cross champion. He prepares to be ready for the Giro where he will support Sandy Casar's stage win ambitions and Arnold Jeannesson's GC hopes but had hoped to make his personal mark on a race prior to the Grand Tour's start.


"My goal is to do a good Giro alongside Sandy Casar and Arnold Jeannesson but I want to win a race before. And it doesn't matter which one!" he said after the Cholet Pays de Loire in March.


The stage took place on another extremely cold day in Europe but as a master of cyclo-cross, the conditions did not bother the Mourey.


"Unlike most riders, I was very pleased with these race conditions and being a little behind in the GC, I thought that I might be able to express myself," he said.


Mourey's victory was founded by a strong attack on the penultimate lap of a hard finishing circuit, and he was able to close the gap to an early escape consisting of Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r) and Marco Canola (Bardiani). Only Mondory was able to keep up with the FDJ rider. Knowing the Ag2r sprinter's fast kick at the end, Mourey attacked his companion inside the final kilometer, and he just managed to hold his fellow escapee off on the line.


"I attacked with two laps to go," he explained "I'm caught Mondory who sat on my wheel for 1,5 lap. In the last kilometer, I attacked since the peloton was about to catch us. I fought and I won. For me, it is a prestigious victory. I am very happy to finish a good race for FDJ. Two wins in the Circuit de la Sarthe (after French champion Nacer Bouhanni's victory in the second stage), the third in a week after the success of Nacer in Val d'Ille Classic. That is a good result. This week, I rode well for our French champion and spent a lot of energy, but I still had something left for today! '


Pierrick Fedrigo was the best placed FDJ rider in the overall. He ended up 9th.



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