Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) won the overall in the Tour du Gevaudan as Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R) claimed the final stage, rounding out a breakthrough season for him with his first pro win.
The final stage of the hard French race the Tour du Gevaudan got underway in sunny conditions and immediately from the gun and six men got away: Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R - La Mondiale, )Arnaud Courteille (FDJ.fr), Romain Guillemois (Europcar), Clément Koretzky (Bretagne - Séché Environnement), Antoine Demoitié (Wallonie - Bruxelles) and Thomas Rostollan (La Pomme Marseille 13). They built a gap of 4’45 at maximum as they hit the day’s first climb, the Col du Plot de la Fage.
Caja Rural and Wanty set the tempo in the peloton as the break crested the climb with Koretzky beating Courteille and Guillemois to the points. The gap was 4’58.
Rostollan punctured out of the break and began a long chase to get back on but after 10 minutes of chasing, he made it back. As the gap hovered at 4’55 with only 60km to go.
FDJ hit the front for Thibaut Pinot and the gap was coming down quickly now, 3’40 with only 50km to go.
The gap was 2’35 as the break hit the climb of Montee Jalabert for the first time and while they were on the first cat climb, the gap continued to drop and as soon as it went below a minute, Bonnafond and Rostollan made an attack and they eked out a gap of 40 seconds to the remainder of the break and the peloton was only a further 10 seconds back.
Romain Hardy (Cofidis0 made it up to the second chase group as the peloton splintered but by the time it was all back together in the bunch, they had reabsorbed the chase group. Reinier Honig made a tentative attack but got nowhere. This prompted Burgos rider Dario Hernandez made a move.
Hernandez bridged to Bonnafond, who had dropped his companion and the two made it onto the second ascent of the Jalabert.
However, they never had a chance as the peloton absorbed them, leading to a big move containing several riders: Maxime Médérel (Europcar), Angel Madrazo, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Rémy Di Gregorio (La Pomme Marseille 13), Mikael Cherel and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale). Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) quickly joined them. Race leader Degand was not in the group and second place man yesterday Txurruka was the virtual race leader.
Four more riders made it to the front, making the leading group look like so: Romain Hardy (Cofidis), Théo Vimpère (BigMat-Auber 93), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr), Maxime Médérel (Europcar), Peio Bilbao, Angel Madrazo, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Rémy Di Grégorio (La Pomme Marseille 13), Hubert Dupont, Mikaël Chérel and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale).
They worked well and with 10km to go, they had 44 seconds on the bunch containing race leader Degand. They entered the final 3km with 33 seconds in hand and Txurruka dragged his companions to the line where Vuillermoz took his first pro win by outsprinting Pinot and Hardy.
Txurruka took the overall by 18 seconds from Degand with Vullermoz third at 22 seconds.
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