Sunday 11 September 2011 at 20h29

After a race which was animated by a leading group of 3 riders, the 5 final laps on a local circuit have cost those 3 courageous riders, who left from the very first kilometer, the race victory. In the end, this 79th edition of the Grand Prix de Fourmies ended, as is often the case, in a sprint and it was Guillaume Blot who signed for victory!


The summary of the Grand Prix de Fourmies 2011

The start of the 79th edition of the Grand Prix de Fourmies was at noon in front of the Fourmies town hall. 14 minutes later, right from the real start, Julien Guay (Roubaix Lille Métropole) was at the origin of the leading group of the day. In this leading group he got company from two Dutch riders: Arnoud van Groen (Veranda's Willems-Accent) and Joost van Leijen (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team). These 3 riders quickly created a big gap on the peloton, going up to 6'30" at kilometer 27.

A counterattack was formed just after the first crossing of Fourmies, but at kilometer 33 (in Feron) it was taken back by the peloton, just like a second counterattack which was launched in parallel.

The leading trio thus continued it's discovery journey of the north of France, looking for maybe even a victory at the end of the 200 kilometers of this race.

The points for the different sprints and climbs for the Prix des Monts were thus distributed among these 3 riders. The Dutch Arnoud van Groen took the last prize, arriving on top of most of the climbs first, while the French rider Julien Guay crossed the line of all the intermediate sprints first and thus won the sprints classification.

It was only after 77 kilometers, in the city of Colleret, on a very narrow road which usually leads to some important changes in the time gaps of the race, that Team Europcar decided to be the first to react. With its acceleration, the team makes the peloton break in two but also reduces the gap to more reasonable values around 2'30".

At half race, at the exist of the feeding zone, these 3 leading riders still have a 2'30" gap on the peloton which came back together, but the sprinters teams than start their work to bring down the gap in order to prepare a potential sprint finish. Especially while approaching Fourmies for the first lap on the circuit the gap goes down very quickly and at the entrance of the city it's down to only 55 seconds.

At the first crossing of the finish line, the 3 leading riders still have a 20 seconds gap on the peloton but in the first lap, 5 riders who escaped from the peloton, David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Radioshack), Anthony Ravard (AG2R La Mondiale), Pier Paolo de Negri (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Schuller), come join them. With the new blood in the leading group and the corresponding acceleration, Joost van Leijen can no longer follow.
The new leading group with 7 riders doesn't get a big gap however, it's maximum value will be 6 seconds. At 4 laps from the finish the peloton gets back together with these riders and 9 riders decide it's their turn to attack. Among them we saw Jérémie Galland and Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun) and Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi) and this new leading group gets a gap of up to 20 seconds. Omega Pharma-Lotto and Veranda's Willems lead the peloton behind them and we see several counterattacks from the peloton.

When Bazzana gets a glat tire, the number of riders in the leading group is down to 6 and at 2 laps from the finish, their gap is down to 18 seconds. In the last lap, this group is also taken back and a new and final leading group is formed by 5 riders: again Michal Kwiatkowski, Maxime Vantomme (Katusha Team), Francis Mourey (FDJ), Laurent Pichon (Bretagne-Schuller) and again Pier Paolo de Negri. This new attack, one out of many today for De Negri, leads to the title of most combative rider today for him, even though this final leading group dropped him quite quickly.

2 other riders than leave the peloton, Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) and Daniele Colli (Geox-TMC), and they take De Negri with them in their attempt to get back on the leading group. They never manage to do so and are taken back by the peloton, just like the remaining 4 riders of the leading group. This is how a complete peloton arrives very quickly in the last long line towards the finish and Guillaume Blot (Bretagne-Schuller) thus wins this race in a sprint, ahead of the Norwegian champion Alexander Kristoff (BMC Racing Team, already 7th in Paris-Brussels yesterday) and Stefan van Dijk (Veranda's Willems).

>> Check out the photos of the Grand Prix de Fourmies 2011

door Thomas Vergouwen
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2 comments | 3101 views

this publication is published in: Grand Prix de Fourmies


There are 2 comments!
  1. Wil je mij verwittigen wanneer de foto's op de site zullen staan.
    Dank u

    | christiaan haezebrouck | Monday 12 September 2011 om 11h18

  2. Best Christiaan,

    De foto's zijn de afgelopen dagen geleidelijk toegevoegd en nu staan alle geselecteerde foto's (108) online : de foto's van de Grote Prijs van Fourmies 2011!

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Wednesday 14 September 2011 om 09h15

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