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"But in three years, I've realized that it is more complicated to win because the African riders have become formidable opponents. For this reason, I am particularly pleased with these three wins and especially the final victo...

ADRIEN PETIT

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LA TROPICALE AMISSA BONGO ONDIMBA

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24.01.2016 @ 18:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Adrien Petit managed to defend his leader's jersey today on the 7th and final stage of Tropicale Amissa Bongo which took place in the streets of the capital Libreville while the Belarusian Yauheni Hutarovich won the last sprint.

 

The Frenchman who was wary of Andrea Palini in the battle for bonus seconds, had things under control from the beginning until the end of the stage through the work of his Direct Energie teamled by Jean -René Bernaudeau. He is the sixth rider from the squad to win Tropicale Amissa Bongo after Anthony Charteau (3 times), Yohan Gene and Natnael Berhane.

 

"It's always a pleasure to win in Gabon," said the French winner, "even though it is becoming more difficult as the level of African cycling reaches a new level every year."

 

Adrien Petit proved during the last day in the streets of Libreville that he has built great confidence during this week in Gabon where he won three stages. It was his third participation in the race where he had already won a stage in 2013.

 

"I remember it reall well because it was the first of my career," he said. "That is probably why I'm very attached to Gabon. But in three years, I've realized that it is more complicated to win because the African riders have become formidable opponents. For this reason, I am particularly pleased with these three wins and especially the final victory."

 

It is the first time he has taken the victory in a final classification of a stage race. The 2016 edition of Tropicale Amissa Bongo was also marked by Eriitrean Tesfom Okubamariam who led the race for a day and became the first African amateur to wear the yellow jersey in the Gabonese race.

 

Hutarovich: You don't want to leave with five second places

Yauheni Hutarovich won the final stage in a bunch sprint where he ended an impressive series of five second places for Fortuneo-Vital Concept in the first six stages.

 

"My victory gives moral to the entire team. You do not want to leave with our five second places."

 

Funvic pleased with debut

The Tropicalw Amissa Bongo  marked the debut in the Pro  Continental category for Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour. The Brazilian team achieved minor results in stages with Francisco Chomorro,  Magno Prado  and  Flavio Cardoso, with the latter the best on GC in 17th

 

"The experience was positive in Gabon," declares a satisfied team manager Benedito Tadeu Azevedo Júnior. "We rode against big names in the cycling world like Spaniard  Francisco Mancebo and Frenchman Thomas Voeckler and the current French champion  Steven Tronet . Our goal was to use this race as preparation for the upcoming races, with priority to participation in the Vuelta aAndalucía to be held in Spain between 17 and 21 February."

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