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Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire Stage 2a

photo credit @ Twitter

The French have made a strong showing thus far in this year’s Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, as Anthony Roux claimed stage 2a today, after outsprinting Quentin Jaurégui of AG2R-La Mondiale and Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler.

“I’m very happy for the team and for myself,” said Roux, who leads the overall classification by five seconds over Jaurégui and eight over Bouhanni ahead of the afternoon 7km time trial held in Angers at the exact same venue where the first-ever prologue of the Tour de France was held in 1967 with José Maria Errandonea winning over Raymond Poulidor.

“I wasn’t sure to win the sprint even though I knew I was the fastest of us three,” Roux added. “I’m not in a great shape. I’ve been sidelined with bronchitis on a few occasions recently. I’ve been put on antibiotics four times in the past two months and it’s the case again today. But the Circuit de la Sarthe is a race I like very much. Every time I’ve done it, I’ve performed somehow. Even though I’m not at 100 per cent of my abilities this time around, I’ll see what I can do after analyzing the results sheet tonight. By experience, we know that the leader after the time trial often loses the lead the day after.”

Voeckler responded to Roux’s victory by saying:

“Although it was not with the uphill finish at the Mont des Avaloirs like now”.

“After I attacked with Jaurégui this morning, I heard that Anthony was riding solo behind us and I had mixed feelings. I thought it was great news because he’s a strong rouleur but I also knew that he’d beat me in the sprint.”

The Finale

Voeckler lead that breakaway group into the final 7 kilometers, with a 45 second lead over the peloton.

“There weren’t 36,000 solutions to avoid the regrouping,” Voeckler said. “We had to accelerate not too early and not too late, so we had to wait for the final circuit to give it all. Our gap was big enough so we could watch each other before sprinting, we weren’t threatened by the return of the peloton. There had to be a winner and a disappointed man, I’m that one today, maybe the young one [Jaurégui] is happy with his second place but for myself, finishing third out of three isn’t genius.”

Following today’s stage, riders face 6.8 kilometer time trial around Angers.

According to Roux, the outcome of the race against the clock, could very likely change the composition of the general classification.

“Most of the times, there’s a change of leader after the time trial.” “Riders like Adriano Malori and Alex Dowsett could decide who leads from there”.

Top 20 Finishers

1 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 2:04:57
2 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:05
5 Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha
6 Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
7 Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr
8 Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
10 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
11 Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia
12 Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
13 Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team
14 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
15 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
16 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
17 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
18 Russell Downing (GBr) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
19 Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka
20 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 

General classification after stage 2a

1 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 6:37:11
2 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:05
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:08
4 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
5 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:00:09
6 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:12
7 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN – Qhubeka
8 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot 0:00:14
9 Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:18
10 Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
11 Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia
12 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team EuTeam Roompotcar
13 Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
14 Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
15 Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team
16 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
17 Russell Downing (GBr) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
18 Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr
19 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
20 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert

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