Bryan Coquard won this year’s Paris-Camembert, after crossing the finish line ahead of Samuel Dumoulin and Lauren Pichon in a bunch sprint in Vimoutiers today.
Today’s win marked Coquard’s fourth victory this year, after winning two stages of the Etoile de Bessèges and the Route Adélie. In addition, Coquard now leads the French cup standings.
AG2R-La Mondiale spent most of the day chasing down a five breakaway group containing Alexandre Blain (Raleigh), Franck Vermeulen (Roubaix-Lille Métropole), Moreno De Pauw (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Alo Jakin (BigMat-Auber 93) and Fabio Chinello (Area Zero Pro Team).
As the peloton regrouped in Vimoutiers, Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) attempted an attack on the Mur des Champeaux. However, the local French rider was quickly chased down by Coquard’s teammate Alexandre Pichot. In turn, Europcar’s Maxime Médérel initiated an attack of his own. But, he too was reeled in by the 25-man field. From there, the field started shaping up for a sprint finish, where Coquard emerged as the strongest rider.
"Had Médérel passed the top of the last hill alone, I don’t think he’d have been caught," Coquard suggested. "I struggled in the climbs, but I managed to hold on."
"We knew that we had to get rid of Coquard to have a chance of winning," Dumoulin commented. "He had attacked a few times in the hills, so we hoped that he’d blow at the end but he didn’t. I was on his wheel for the sprint but with the head wind and the false flat terrain to finish, he was definitely the strongest."
"I’m not afraid of races over 200km anymore," Coquard added. "I marked FDJ when Anthony Geslin was leading the sprint for Laurent Pichon and I believed I had to go at 200 metres from the line. On this false-flat, it was a bit far out but I felt I had good legs. I’m super happy with the team work. It was as efficient as at the Route Adélie. Last year I finished fifth here behind a breakaway of four and I was disappointed because we didn’t understand each other with Pierrot . This time around, I’m happy with my results so far. I was just a bit disappointed with no stage win at Paris-Nice but I’ve improved in the climbs."
Coquard will now turn his focus toward World Tour events such as the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne, instead of defending his title against Dumoulin in this weekend’s French cup races.
Top 25 Finishers
1 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 4:41:56 2 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3 Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr 4 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 5 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 6 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 7 Gerry Druyts (Bel) Team 3M 8 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 9 Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat – Auber 93 10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 11 Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) Area Zero Pro Team 12 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement 13 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne – Seche Environnement 14 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Team Raleigh 15 Théo Vimpere (Fra) BigMat – Auber 93 16 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 17 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 18 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr 19 Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 20 Rémy Di Grégorio (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13 21 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne – Seche Environnement 22 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) FDJ.fr 23 Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne – Seche Environnement 24 Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13 25 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.fr
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