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"This is frustrating and we are all aware that it is very important for us, for our morale, to win. We will do everything to do things differently and win."

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade






18.05.2015 @ 12:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The FDJ team was not rewarded for there efforts in the first stage of the Tour de Picardie which was won by the Belgian Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal). After working all day, the train was destroyed by a puncture for Sebastien Chavanel and then by a crash which forced Arnaud Démare to stop. Luckily he did not hit the ground.


Once again, the end of the stage was too dangerous with a succession of corners before the last straight of 250 meters. Luckily it was not raining but the expected crash occured.


"It was dangerous," ensures sports director Franck Pineau. "This year the finishes have been too complicated. Certainly, the riders passed the finish line thrice and had time to look at it but at such a speed, the crash is almost inevitable. We had the same concern in Saint-Omer in the Four Days of Dunkirk. The two riders who took the turn in the first positions (Boeckmans and teammate De Buyst) crossed the line in that order and the rest were left behind. Coquard (Europcar) ended up on the ground, Arnaud was able to avoid it but obviously his sprint ended there."


It was  sprint that his team had prepared behind the five escapees that were brought back with 12 kilometers to go. David Boucher and Mickael Delage who returned to competition after breaking his leg last month, rode all day. The team's plan got complicated when Sébastien Chavanel suffered a puncture 3 kilometers from the line. Olivier Le Gac gave him his wheel immediately but it was impossible to come back to the peloton in such a short time.


William Bonnet and Lorrenzo Manzin did the job but there were still too many obstacles to overcome to see Arnaud Démare win.


In the second stage, it was another disappointment for the FDJ team. Although he was led out by his teammates, Démare suffered from a swerve under the red flame and ended up in the grass. His effort was again in vain.


"After a first stage where we had not been at the top, the guys tried to take revenge and they led Arnaud out with the goal of taking the win," Pineau said. "Two kilometers from the finish, everything was perfect, Sébastien Chavanel ledl his teammates. Then there was this swerve. Arnaud and David Boucher ended up in the grass. Sebastian asked his teammates to slow down but it was too late. Their sprinter was in fortieth position and then you cannot win"


Demare and his team came backbut it was only good enough for a twelfth place.


"This is frustrating and we are all aware that it is very important for us, for our morale, to win. We will do everything to do things differently and win."



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