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Having attacked all day, Taaramae made it into a very strong 15-rider group before distancing his rivals on the final climb to take a solo win; Tulik and Perichon completed the podium

Photo: Tour of Turkey / Mario Stiehl








14.09.2014 @ 17:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) took the second win of his season when he won the tough French one-day race Tour du Doubs after an impressive solo performance. Having laid the foundations for the day’s 15-rider group, the Estonian made the selection in the finale and finally dropped his rivals on the late climb to take a solo victory. Angelo Tulik (Europcar) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne) completed the podium.


A few weeks ago, Astana announced that they had signed Rein Taaramae as a key reinforcement of their stage race roster. Today the Estonian proved that they had made a good choice when he won the hilly Tour du Doubs in the Jura mountains.


Launching relentless attacks in a hectic start, Taaramae instigated the day’s 15-rider group that included a formidable group of climbers, with Thibaut Pinot, Davide Rebellin, Alexis Vuillermoz and Remy Di Gregorio being among the biggest names in the move. The Estonian stayed attentive when the group split 40km from the finish and finally he dropped all his rivals on the final climb.


The Tour du Doubs took place on a 189km course between Morteau and Pontarlier. Taking place in the Jura mountains, it was a hilly affair that was expected to suit puncheurs and riders who excel in the Ardennes classics.


The riders took off under a cloudy sky with little wind and they got the race off to a very fast start. First a five-rider group got clear but when it was brought back, it was Taaramae who made his first move. The Estonian was joined by riders from Roubaix and the French national teams but it all came back together.


Instead, Alo Jakin (BigMat), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r), Julien El Fares (La Pomme), Nans Peters (France), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Rudy Kowalski (Roubaix), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC)  and Christophe Laborie (Bretagne) got a small advantage but they were swallowed up too. While Peters beat Taaramae and Corrado Lampa (Differdange) in the first intermediate sprint, the attacking continued and Roger Kluge (IAM) managed to build a 10-second advantage.


When the German was brought back, the riders hit the first categorized climb where Taaramae attacked again. The Estonian led Yoann Paillot (La Pomme) and Pierre-Roger Latour (France) over the top and this was the instigation of the day’s move.


The trio was joined by Romain Guillemois, Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Arnaud Gérard, Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Théo Vimpère (BigMat-Auber 93), Rémy Di Grégorio (Team La Pomme Marseille 13), Jimmy Turgis (Roubaix Lille Métropole), Alexis Vuillermoz, Mikaël Chérel (AG2R La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot (, David Belda Garcia (Burgos-BH), Pierre-Roger Latour (France) and Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice) to form a very strong 15-rider group. When Di Gregorio beat Paillot and Cherel in the second intermediate sprint, the group was already 1.15 ahead.


Taaramae led Pinot and Vimpere across the line in the third sprint but the peloton were not giving them much leeway. For a while, the gap stayed at around a minute but slowly the escapees started to increase their advantage. When Latour led Pinot and Vuillermoz over the top of the second climb, the advantage had been extended to 2.15.


IAM had missed the move and they started to bring the break back. As they approached the third climb with 80km to go, the escapees were only 1.35 ahead.


Latour was again first over the top as he led Guillemois and Vimpere across the line while the battle with IAM continued. For a long time, the advantage stayed around 1.30 but at the first passage of the finish line with 42km to go, the Swiss team was getting closer, having brought it down to 1.12.


The escapees now started to attack each other as Pinot launched the first move. The group split in two, with Tulik, Perichon, Taaramae, Vimpere, Vuillermoz, Pinot and Rebellin making it into the first group.


The front group distanced their chasers and with 30km to go, they were 33 seconds ahead. Meanwhile, the peloton was losing the battle, trailing the escapees by 1.50.


There was no cooperation in the second group and with 20km to go, it was clear that they wouldn’t get back in contention. Paillot even decided that he had had enough and fell back to the peloton.


The 7-rider front group started the final 10km which included a tough climb, with a solid advantage and it was clear that the breakaway would stay away. Pinot launched the first attack but Rebellin and Vuillermoz quickly responded and it came back together.


This is when Taaramae launched his counterattack and while Pinot and Vuillermoz took off in pursuit, he started to build an advantage. The chasers were brought back and instead Perrichon took off.


At the top of the climb, Taaramae was 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the group which had brought Perrichon back, with Pinot leading Vuillermoz over the top. From there, the Estonian went into time trial mode and easily held off his chasers on the downhill run to the line.


In the finale, Tulik managed to escape and the Europcar rider held on to take second. Perrichon beat Pinot in the sprint for the final spot on the podium.


The next major race on French soil is the GP d’Isbergues which takes place next Sunday.



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