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"When Carlos Betancur returned to me, I immediately took his wheel. Carlos told me: "We go full gas and if we stay away to the finish, you get the stage win." So I gave it my all," Moinard says

Photo: BMC / Tim De Waele

AMAEL MOINARD

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TOUR DU HAUT VAR

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
23.02.2014 @ 22:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Amael Moinard (BMC) got a rare chance to chase some personal succes in today's final stage of the Tour du Haut-Var and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Showing tactical nous and using local knowledge, he came away with the stage win and a spot on the final podium.

 

Amaël Moinard won the final stage of the Tour du Haut Var Sunday to register the BMC Racing Team's sixth victory of the season on his way to placing third overall. Moinard beat Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) in a two-up sprint after the pair broke away on the final climb of the 203.4-kilometer race.

 

Moinard said he knew the Côte des Tuilières ascent "perfectly" and waited until it flattened out slightly with 500 meters to go.

 

"Then I jumped and made it pretty hard," he said. "Betancur came up to me and we went full out on the downhill. I didn't touch the brakes – I just went full gas. He was interested in winning the GC and I wanted the stage, so it was perfect to go together to the line."

 

Betancur, winner of Saturday's Stage 1, won the race overall ahead of teammate Samuel Dumoulin. Moinard's teammate, Cadel Evans, finished fourth on the stage, 12 seconds back, and placed fifth in the final standings.

Earlier in the 203.4-kilometer race BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd set the stage by soloing out of an eight-man breakaway with about 55 km to go. The reigning Norwegian national road champion enjoyed a nearly two-minute lead before the peloton overtook him inside the final 20 kms.

 

"With Thor in the breakaway, it was easier for the team," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said. "I also think it was good for Thor because it was good preparation for the classics. I am also very happy for Amaël. He is always working for the leader and now he is a winner himself."

 

"I was not feeling well early in the race," Moinard added to Directvelo. "In the end, it was better. Thor spent a big part of the day in the break. Then I saw Cadel attack in the last climb. But I also saw that the pace went down near the top. 

 

"When Carlos Betancur returned to me, I immediately took his wheel. Carlos told me: "We go full gas and if we stay away to the finish, you get the stage win." So I gave it my all. 

 

"I am very happy, of course. After the Tour Down Under and the Tour Mediteraneen, I knew I had something to do here. The Tour du Haut-Var was a real goal for me. Now, I focus on Paris-Nice. Mostly, I'll be there to help Tejay Van Garderen. But I also hope to win a stage if I have the opportunity."

 

It was Moinard's first victory since joining the BMC Racing Team in 2011, the season he helped Evans win the Tour de France. His last victory before Sunday had also come in a two-up sprint, in the final stage of the 2010 edition of Paris-Nice. 

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