Sunday 01 February 2015 at 17h33

A 5 rider strong breakaway was active in the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise 2015 today, the first road cycling race of the season in France and also the first race of the Coupe de France PMU 2015. After having created quite a comfortable gap, these 5 riders started losing lots of time in the 3 difficulties of the race around Marseille and in the climb of the Gineste their adventure came to an end. A new breakaway didn't manage to work together correctly and the race was thus decided in a sprint, which was won by Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal).

The summary of the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise 2015

Rapidly after the start, two riders got away at the head of the race. These riders were Clément Saint-Martin of the Team Marseille 13-KTM and the neo pro Pierre-Roger Latour of the AG2R La Mondiale team, but their adventure only lasted for a few kilometers before the bunch came back together.

Several other attempts followed but we had to wait for the attack of Julien Duval of the Armée de Terre team which did its first race as a professional team and of Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) to start setting up today's breakaway. Veuchelen and Duval were progressively joined by Conor Dunne (An Post-Chainreaction), Steven Tronet (Auber 93) and Thomas Vaubourzeix (Veranclassic-Ekoi). Eoin McCarthy (An Post-Chainreaction) was in-between the peloton and this breakaway and the Irish rider thus had some difficulties doing what he planned to do according to his tweet yesterday:

Indeed, after a bit over 50 kilometers he was alone, 5'20" behind the breakaway and with the peloton at 10'20" of that same breakaway, the maximum gap they created.

In the climb of the Petit Galibier (the nickname of the Pas de la Couelle), the gap seriously started to go down for the first time and while Eoin McCarthy was taken back by the peloton, Steven Tronet takes the points on top of this first climb while the gap of the breakaway is down to 5'55".
On the climb of the Col de l'Espigoulier, the most difficult climb of the race, the breakaway continues to lose time and when Steven Tronet again takes the points on top of this second difficulty, the peloton follows at only 1'36".

While they get closer to the last difficulty, the Col des Bastides (Julhan les Bastides), Julien Duval loses contact with the breakaway and he finds Yoann Paillot (Team Marseille 13-KTM) between the breakaway and the peloton. Their adventure however quickly comes to an end since the peloton wants to see the race end in a sprint and is thus riding to get back all breakaway riders!

There are still about thirty kilometers to go when Steven Tronet again takes the points of the difficulty in Julhan les Bastides. He thus naturally becomes the winner of the King of the Mountains classification.
At the foot of the Gineste climb, not referenced for the King of the Mountains classification, the gap of the 4 breakaway riders is down to only 36 seconds. Being threatened by the peloton, the riders of the breakaway then try to attack one by one and Tronet and Veuchelen end up together in front in the climb of the Gineste, before they're taken back by the peloton ...

Carlos Quintero (Colombia), who attacked just before the two breakaway riders were taken back, is then alone in front in this climb and progressively gets company from Sean de Bie (Lotto-Soudal), Clément Saint-Martin (Team Marseille 13-KTM) and Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and a bit later from Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar Team). This big group however didn't manage to work together and they're thus quickly taken back, so we see the whole bunch go on towards the finish of this Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise 2015. In the bunch sprint, Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) turns out to be the fastest!

The classifications of the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise 2015


The race classification

Pim Ligthart wins the Marseillaise 2015 - © Bruno Bade / LNCHere's the top 10 of this first race of the season in France:

1/ Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) - 3h39'33"
2/ Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis, solutions crédits)
3/ Antoine Demoitie (Wallonie Bruxelles)
4/ Baptiste Planckaert (Roubaix-Lille Métropole)
5/ Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Seché Environnement)
6/ Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
7/ Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
8/ Maxime Renault (Auber 93)
9/ Benjamin Giraud (Team Marseille 13-KTM)
10/ Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

>> full results

King of the Mountains classification

In the 3 referenced climbs for the King of the Mountains classification (Petit Galibier, Espigoulier and Julhan les Bastides), we systematically saw the same 3 riders get on top first, in the same order. The King of the Mountains classification thus only presents these 3 riders:

1/ Steven Tronet (Auber 93) - 18 points
2/ Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) - 12 points
3/ Thomas Vaubourzeix (Veranclassic-Ekoi) - 6 points


Classification of the Coupe de France PMU 2015

After this first race, the classification of the Coupe de France PMU 2015 is as follows:

1/ Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis, solutions crédits) - 35 points
2/ Baptiste PLanckaert (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) - 20 points
3/ Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) - 18 points
4/ Maxime Renault (Auber 93) - 12 points
5/ Benjamin Giraud (Team Marseille 13-KTM) - 10 points
6/ Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) - 6 points
7/ Anthony Maldonado (Auber 93) - 5 points
8/ Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) - 3 points

The next races of the Coupe de France PMU will be the Classic Loire Atlantique et Cholet - Pays de Loire in the weekend of 21 and 22 March 2015.

photo: © Bruno Bade / LNC

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise | Coupe de France


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