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"He attacked and saw that nobody wanted to chase to get him back. I'm more than disappointed. If I had taken the initiative to catch him, I was afraid of getting passed," Simon says

Photo: A.S.O.

JULIEN SIMON

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TOUR DU FINISTÈRE

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20.04.2014 @ 11:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

By many, an in-form Julien Simon (Cofidis) was seen as the man to beat in yesterday's hilly Tour du Finistere one-day race and the Frenchman lived up to expectations by playing a dominant role. Having made it into the final 10-rider breakaway, however, he hesitated to respond when eventual winner Antoine Demoitie took off and so his sprint win was only good enough for second.

 

After several strong performances in the opening months of the season, it was no surprise that many riders regarded Julien Simon as the favourite in yesterday's Tour du Finistere. The hilly profile with a steep climb inside the final 2km and a false flat to the finish suited the powerful puncheur perfectly.

 

Simon proved his intentions right from the beginning when he asked his Cofidis team to take part in the early chase work. On the final circuit he bridged across to a dangerous move that contained his teammate Yoann Bagot and after joining the move, he asked his teammate to sacrifice himself.

 

Bagot's great work was enough to make sure that the break stayed away to the finish and so it was left to Simon to beat the likes of Armindo Fonseca and Kristian Sbaragli in the final sprint. He did so but in the end had to settle for second as Antoine Demoitie had produced a surprise move on the final climb.

 

"I was in the front line, but nobody wanted to react," he told L'Equipe. "He attacked and saw that nobody wanted to chase to get him back. I'm more than disappointed. If I had taken the initiative to catch him, I was afraid of getting passed."

 

Simon already won the race in 2012 and had the consolation of taking the overall lead in the Coupe de France race series. However, that couldn' make up for the disappointment.

 

"I had to win," he said. "I should not miss  an opportunity like this.I had a teammate to help inthe right breakaway. I just screwed it up. Missing out really gives me a blow to my morale."

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