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"The form comes back slowly after I was injured. The legs are good, the team trusts me. When you're neo-pro is great. I am surrounded by experienced guys."

Photo: Sirotti




27.08.2015 @ 14:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having won the bunch sprint for the minor places two days ago, Marc Sarreau (FDJ) made up for the disappointment by taking his first pro win on stage 3 of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes. After his team had worked to set up a bunch kick, he held off Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka) and Michael van Staeyen (Cofidis) while a split in the peloton meant that Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) took the overall lead.


Going into the 2015 season, FDJ signed two young sprinters to replace Nacer Bouhanni as their second sprint card in addition to Arnaud Demare. In the first months, Lorrenzo Manzin has got most attention, taking his first pro win and getting selected for the Vuelta a Espana.


Things have been harder for Marc Sarreau who has been set back by health issues and missed most of the early summer season. However, he is now back at full health and when he finished third in the Tour de l’Ain prologue, it was evident that he was close to top condition.


He put that form on show in stage 1 of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes where he finally managed to win a bunch sprint at the pro level. Unfortunately, 12 riders had gone clear in the finale so it was only good enough for 13th.


Yesterday Sarreau was again left frustrated in a race that is usually dominated by bunch sprints. Wind made the peloton explode to pieces and even though he was again the fastest from the bunch, another big group had already taken the spoils.


With a time trial and hillier final stage coming up, today’s morning stage could be his final chance and finally things came together for the fast Frenchman. With the afternoon TT an important goal for the big teams, no one wanted to ride aggressively so it became a relatively straightforward affair that ended in a bunch sprint where Sarreau came out on top.


"It went very well," he told Directvelo. "The team did a great job. The final was winding and you had to be in a good position in the final kilometers, especially in the last descent. Mattieu (Landagnous) started on the descent. I took the wheel of Julian Alaphilippe who was the designated sprinter of Etixx-Quick Step. I was ideally placed. Julian's teammates did the work. I made the effort in the last 200 meters. I gave it everything and it was enough. This is great. 


"The form comes back slowly after I was injured. The legs are good, the team trusts me. When you're neo-pro is great. I am surrounded by experienced guys. This is an advantage because without a team, it would have been impossible."


"There was a breakaway with Siskevicius (Marseille 13-KTM) but Etixx-Quick Step wanted a sprint," explained sports director Yvon Madiot. "Arthur Vichot started to ride with them for 80 km. Next, the team rallied around its sprinter, including Johan Le Bon who preferred to ride two kilometers on the front rather than being caught in a crash. Then Seb Chavanel launched the sprint and he told me that Mark really won with a big margin of more than a bike length."



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