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"I always give the best of myself and I have not always been rewarded for my efforts. I had not won in two years (since the 2nd stage of the 2014 Tour du Limousin) and the time always feels long when you have a dry spell."

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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ANTHONY DELAPLACE

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CYRIL GAUTIER

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HP - BTP AUBER 93

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PARIS-CAMEMBERT

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ROMAIN FEILLU

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04.04.2016 @ 00:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cyril Gautier paid back the Ag2r team for the confidence they had shown him by signing him for the 2016 season by claiming his first win for the team at the Paris-Camembert semi-classic. Having joined forces with Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) in the finale, he beat his companion in a two-rider sprint before Romain Feillu (Auber 93) won the sprint for third.

 

We have gathered a few reactions.

 

Cyril Gautier: My attacks have not always been rewarded

"A win is always nice. We rider to win. This one is more beautiful as I had not raised my arms since 2014 and this is the first with Ag2r,” Gautier said. “I had a difficult start to the season. I was ill in February and I was very tired after Paris-Nice. I doubted a little. 
 

“Today we were only six riders. We tried to save our energy early in the race.  In the end, I attacked with Fedrigo, Delaplace and Coquard  and then I found myself in front with Anthony Delaplace. He is a good rider, ready to work, and we really collaborated to keep the peloton at bay. 
 

”Now I will focus on the Circuit de la Sarthe (April 5-8) where there are great things to do.”

 

“These are the victories I often expected,” he told L’Equipe. “It's downright fun as Paris-Camembert is not a simple race. That makes it all the more enjoyable. I felt already much better than in some races and I have not won for a long time. I always give the best of myself and I have not always been rewarded for my efforts. I had not won in two years (since the 2nd stage of the 2014 Tour du Limousin) and the time always feels long when you have a dry spell.

 

”The race was actually really busy in the end. Many teams tried to foil the plans of Direct Energie who were more organized. It was a necessary to play a tactical game and have the legs to surprise. When I saw Pierrick (Fedrigo) and Bryan (Coquard) attack at the bottom Cavée de Crouttes (10km from the finish), I thought it was a little far from the finish. I thought I had to try to follow them to have no regrets. They just looked a little bit at each other and I did not hesitate to fight with Anthony (Delaplace) on the wheel.

 

”I think the tactic paid off because Bryan missed teammates in the final kilometers. It probably makes sense since they rode so hard during the event. But that's racing which means that's the race, even if they are my former teammates. At Paris-Camembert, things have not smiled for Direct Energie but we have seen lately that it is one of the strongest teams of this season. Now the wheel has turned in my favor, that's all.”

 

"Direct Energie controlled the race very well,” he told Directvelo. “We chose to ride in front arriving on the first circuit. We had to watch the attacks that came before making our own moves.

 

“I knew I was a bit faster than Anthony (Delaplace) in the sprint. I did not want to play, the bunch was close. I did not want to miss a victory. I mov3e little to the left because the wind was coming from the right. I played it well technically. It's my first win of the season, the second for team after Jan Bakeltants in Le Mediterranneene. I had won since the Tour du Limousin in 2014. The victory was missing. We all want to win regularly. Lately, when I realized we were going to fight for victory, I got nervous. This success feels good. I will continue at the Circuit de la Sarthe on Tuesday and the three Ardennes classics."

 

Anthony Delaplace close to big win for Fortuneo-Vital Concept at Paris-Camembert

"All day, we were on the attack,” Delaplace said. “We have tried to toughen the race in the final. We had a very good team. I ended up with Pierrick, Cyril Gautier and Bryan Coquard at the top of the penultimate climb. Pierrick created a gap so I was with Cyril.

 

“I'm disappointed with second place, but Cyril deserves his victory. I knew it would be hard to beat him in the sprint. I played the game still in his wheel tin he last 800 meters but it was not enough. I was happy to get a podium in front of my home public, my family and my fan club. I take pleasure when people encourage me. It is important.

 

“This will be good times. We did not win today but the team worked very well. It will pay off. Sixth in the Route Adélie, second today, we have turned things  around, I hope that we will win soon.

 

"We attacked with four: Pierrick (Fedrigo), Cyril (Gautier) and Bryan (Coquard),” he told Directvelo. “Pierrick left a gap. I managed to get away without Bryan, that was important. It would have been better to have Pierrick with Cyril rather than me, because he was the fastest. We got along well. We are very similar. We do not count our efforts when we are in the front. I tried to play the game. I did not take a turn in the last 800 meters, but it was not enough.

 

“I am disappointed, very disappointed. The team had a complicated start to the season. It has been better for two weeks. I wish I would have won. I have not won any race since 2011. In addition, we were in Normandy. I hope to lift the arms soon. It's good to be second but I am, I repeat it again, very disappointed.

 

“In the final, (sports directors) Manu (Hubert) and Roger (Tréhin) told me to think only of victory. For my part, I told myself to believe in meself. When Cyril launched his sprint, I did too. But anyway, he was faster here. I'll do the Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège."

 

Sports director Roger Trehin said: "There is not much wrong with our riders. They raced to destroy the Direct Energie strategy. They attacked several times with Brice Feillu, Francis Mourey, Florian Vachon, Pierrick Fedrigo. They did everything to succeed. Anthony didthe right thing in the end. We were involved from the beginning until the end so we send positive signals for the future. "

 

Romain Feillu after third place: I could have won this race

“Since I won the bunch sprint, I think I could have won the race, Feillu told Directvelo. “It was a clear sprint, with the wind blowing from behind and a false flat. I managed my race well. I have regrets. I need this win. I was there in Adelie. But Christophe Laborie (Delko Marseille) deviated from the line and pushed me into the barriers, unintentionally of course.

 

“Today, there were seven of the team in the finale. My teammates chasedbut it was not enough. Cyril (Gautier) probably felt stronger than Anthony (Delaplace) in the sprint so he rode hard. They could very well have looked at each other. I will now focus on the Circuit des Ardennes, the Tour du Finistère and Tro Bro Leon. "

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