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"I still go into 2014 with a good start. I have the desire to do a good season. The year starts well. It is good for my morale and for the morale of the entire team," Coppel says

Photo: Sirotti

ETOILE DE BESSÈGES

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NEWS

JEROME COPPEL

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
09.02.2014 @ 20:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) put a bad 2013 season behind when he got 2014 off to a great start in the Etoile de Besseges. After finishing 2nd in today's time trial and 2nd overall, the Frenchman has been pleasantly surprised by his condition and is now hoping for a big 2014.

 

Prior to the 2013, Jerome Coppel was signed as one of the leaders of a reinforced Cofidis team but the Frenchman never found his best legs in his first year with his new team. Today he proved that he is ready to make amends in the new season when he finished 2nd in the final time trial of the Etoile de Besseges, catapulting himself into 2nd in the final overall standings.

 

Coppel has a love for the 10.7km time trial in Ales which starts with a flat section and ends with a 2km climb to the finish, reaching maximum gradients of 16%. In 2012 he emerged as the strongest in a similar stage which allowed him to win the race overall.

 

This year he was beaten into second by Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Shimano) who was 4 seconds faster than the strong Frenchman. Nonetheless, he was pleasantly surprised with the result as he has not been feeling too well when he entered the race.

 

"First and foremost, I am disappointment," he told Directvelo. "Earlier this week I didn't think that I could take 2nd but with the feeling I have had in the last few stages, I was hoping for a good times. To get so close is annoying but it is bike racing. Ludvigsson was the strongest, there is nothing to say. 

 

"Four seconds sounds like very little but on a course like this it is a lot. When I crossed the line with the best time and knew that I had beaten Jeremy Roy, I was confident. But I also knew that Ludvigsson hadn't finished yet and he was a rival. He started shortly after me so I have not had much time to think about winning. I was also wary of Arthur Vichot, Maxime Monfort and Tony Gallopin."

 

Coppel has started the stage with a 34-second deficit to surprise leader Sander Helven who was a bit of an unknown for the favourites. Hence, Coppel was more focused on the stage win than the GC.

 

"I thought more about the stage victory and not the GC because I was aware that it would be difficult to get 34 seconds," he said. "I wish that there would have been less flat and a longer climb. I felt better on the climb. That's how it is with this route."

 

Coppel now hopes that the result has set him up for a big 2014 but admits that he is still not as strong as he was when he won the race two years ago.

 

"Unlike in 2012, I still miss something," he said. "I am not at the same level but I gave it my all. I still go into 2014 with a good start. I have the desire to do a good season. The year starts well. It is good for my morale and for the morale of the entire team."

 

Coppel's first big target is the Paris-Nice.

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