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Christophe Le Mével won the Tour du Haut Var

Added: sunday 21 February 2010 at 22:09:03
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    Christophe Le Mével won the Tour du Haut VarThis weekend the 42nd Tour du Haut Var took place in two stages of 167,5 and 200,7 kilometers.
    After a stage victory for Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) yesterday, it was up to Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) to win the stage today and to take the final win of this race (which is made up of two stages since 2009 only).

    1/ La Croix Valmer > Grimaud - 167,5 km - Rinaldo Nocentini as a good finisher

    Under a nice sun and with temperatures of about 14°C, concerning the weather only the wind could influence the first stage of the Tour du Haut Var 2010.

    This stage contained several climbs: the Col de Gassin (3rd category) after only 6,6 km, the Col de la Garde Freinet (3rd category) about 40 km further, the Col du Revest (1st category) at 60 km from the finish, the Col du Bougnon (2nd category) 20 kilometers before the finish and the very steep final climb towards Grimaud, with bits up to 15 to 20%.

    With 188 riders at the start, the first leading group was formed right from the first climb with Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Kasper Klostergard (Saxo Bank), Leonardo Duque and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun), Mitchell Docker (Skil-Shimano), Noan Lelarge (Bretagne Schuller), Jonathan Thire (Bigmat), Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale), Sylvain Calzati (Team Sky) and Arnaud Molmy (Roubaix Lille Métropole).

    Their gap went up to 1'40" at kilometer 90 and the leading group seemed to be working well, but about 40 kilometers further they were taken back anyway. At that time the first rider to attack was the Dutch Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) but without success, followed by Ben Swift (Team Sky) who was taken back by Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) or even Morris Possoni, also from Team Sky, at the foot of the Col du Bougnon. All these attempts remained without success because none of these riders really got away from the peloton.

    Than it was up to Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) to attack and really create a gap with the peloton. However, at about 8 kilometers from the finish the rider of the team which became Continental Pro since the start of this season was taken back by the peloton led by Team Sky and Bretagne-Schuller.

    Arnaud CoyotDirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet) attack lasts for about a few hundred meters only while Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Schuller) manages to stay ahead for a few kilometers. At a bit more than one kilometer from the finish Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d'Epargne, photo) is the last rider to get away from the peloton.

    Once this rider, perfect team mate for his leaders in for example the Tour de France, taken back it's up to Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale), who was wearing the yellow jersey during 8 days in the Tour de France 2009, to attack alone in the final climb. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) follows not far behind him but doesn't manage to bridge the gap.

    The Italian rider thus wins this first stage, 3 seconds ahead of the small French rider of the Cofidis team and with Bert de Waele of the Belgian team Landbouwkrediet finishing 3rd.

    > Watch a video of the first stage

    Rinaldo Nocentini1/ Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale)
    2/ Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) - +0'03"
    3/ Bert de Waele (Landbouwkrediet) - +0'03"
    4/ Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) - +0'03"
    5/ Mathieu Drujon (Caisse d'Epargne) - +0'03"

    The reaction of the winner, Rinaldo Nocentini

    After his victory, Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) declared: I did a very good Tour Méditerranéen but finishing 2nd is not enough and this is a very nice victory. I worked hard this winter, gave up many things for it and it was thus important for me to win early in the season. The team really worked hard for me to get me in a good position at 400 meters from the finish. Tomorrow, I hope to keep the jersey and why not win the stage again. Anyway, this victory will make me feel better with my big goal which is Paris-Nice.

    2/ Draguignan > Montauroux - 200,7 km - Christophe Le Mével wins thanks to the team work

    Today a 200 kilometer stage between Draguignan and Montauroux was on the programme with two climbs at the start of the stage, the Côte de Tourtour (2nd category) and the Côte des Tuillières (1st category). The last one will also be part of the 7nd stage of Paris-Nice 2010 between Peyniers and Tourrettes-sur-Loup which will take place in the same area.

    On the Tour du Haut Var it was followed by a flat part of about 50 kilometers before the climb of the Col des Marjoris (2nd category) and the climb of the Col de Mons (hors catégorie) and the final climb of the Mur de Montauroux.

    When the early leading group, which left under a grey sky with temperatures of about 10 degrees, was taken back, a new leading group was formed by Cyril Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Rémy di Grégorio (Française des Jeux), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel Euskadi), Thomas Danielson (Garmin-Transitions), David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun). While the temperatures go down, this leading group gets a gap up to 25 seconds but didn't go very far because behind the them the whole AG2R La Mondiale team was at the head of the peloton.

    Pierrick FédrigoThe rain than appeared in the Tour du Haut Var and once this group was taken back, at about 25 kilometers from the finish, after an attack by Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank), Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) managed to get away and get a gap of up to 36 seconds at 17 kilometers from the finish. Behind him, the riders of AG2R La Mondiale and Cofidis were at the head of the peloton, but it was finally the Française des Jeux team which managed to bridge the gap at less than 15 kilometers from the finish.

    Jérôme CoppelAt 3 kilometers from the finish it's again Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) who tries to escape just like he did the day before, but again without success.

    Christophe Le MévelIn the final kilometer Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) attacks and does a solo final climb. He had a hard time getting away first but at about 600 meters from the finish he got a real gap on the peloton. He didn't stay ahead that long however because in the hardest part of the climb he was almost taken back by Pierrick Fédrigo, Bert de Waele and Julien El Farès.

    Finally 2 riders finish with exactly the same time in the general classification and the final victory of the Tour du Haut Var 2010 is thus decided based on the points and that's how Christophe Le Mével won ahead of Bert de Waele (Landbouwkrediet). Julien El Farès (Cofidis) also finishes 3rd in the general classification.

    > Watch a video of the second stage

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 1 comments!
  1. http://www.cyclisme-roltiss-over.com/article-le-tour-du-haut-var-remporte-par-christophe-le-mevel-45421529.html

    | Roland TISSIER | monday 22 February 2010 at 6:31:36

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