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"Second or relegated, for me it's the same! Only victory counts."

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ANTHONY ROUX

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ARNAUD DEMARE

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GROUPAMA-FDJ

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30.06.2015 @ 11:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Before the French Championships, FDJ had won three consecutive titles and did not know who was their best card on the demaning course in Chantonnay. In the end, Anthony Roux turned out to be the strongest.

 

Originally he finished second in the sprint but he was relegated as the commissarires ruled that he had been responsbible for the crash of big favourite and former teammate Nacer Bouhanni.

 

"We missed some strong cards," said manager Marc Madiot. "An Arthur Vichot at his level, an Alexandre Géniez [who didn't take the start after crashing in the TT] would have had an impact on the race. I even think they would have changed the outcome."

 

The riders of the FDJ team were actors throughout the day, not missing a single breakaway except one in the last hour. William Bonnet was the first in action in the same breakaway as Alexis Gougeard before this group swelled to 32 riders. Bonnet was joined by Olivier Le Gac, Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier, Jérémy Roy and Cédric Pineau.

 

In the second breakaway of thirteen riders, Olivier Le Gac was accompanied by Kenny Elissonde and Francis Mourey and this group got an adcantage of 5'45 '' shortly before the midpoint. Things looked good until Bretagne chased them down even though they had Matthieu Boulo in the group.

 

They were at 50 kilometers to go which was tthe moment chosen by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) to attack. In a very strong finale, there was a series of movements highlighting many French champions.

 

With 30 kilometers to go Romain Bardet and Wrren Barguil joined the front group. Arnaud Demare was just 100m from joining them too.

 

"Arnaud followed the instructions," said Madiot. "He was told to attack with two laps to go because we did not think it woul be a sprint. He missed almost nothing to join the front group and it would have changed the situation."

 

Finally in the last lap, fifteen riders found themselves in the front to decide the win and Anthony Roux who was one of the protected riders represented FDJ. After an attack from Romain Bardet shortly after the red kite, an attempt from Tony Gallopin significantly raised the level of nervousness. Roux started on the right and swerved to the left in the wake of Tronet who got an advantage. His rear wheel hit the front wheel of Bouhanni, the sprinter of the Cofidis team finding himself on the ground.

 

"That's what happens in a race. There was nothing obviously intentional," Madiot said.

 

"Second or relegated, for me it's the same! Only victory counts," Roux said.

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