4/14/2012 - TEAM NEWS!
Simon wins Tour du Finistère
Saur Sojasun sprinter outpaces Dumoulin, McEvoy
After attempts at the Route Adélie (3rd) and Paris-Camembert (16th), Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) finally gave local fans confirmation of his exploits at the Volta Catalunya in March. On Saturday the Breton rider claimed the first win of his career on French soil as he outsprinted the whole bunch at the Tour du Finistère, in the same place where Thor Hushovd won stage 8 of the 2004 Tour de France in Quimper.
Breakaway riders Dimitri Champion (Bretagne-Schuller) and Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun) were caught with only one kilometer to go but that was an obvious outcome for the numerous spectators of cycling-mad region of Brittany.
“With my teammate away almost all day, my situation was royal,” Simon said.
“With two laps to go (17km), I told myself that I had to focus solely on the sprint. We had to use the final hill to put the pure sprinters like [defending champion] Romain Feillu in the red. I’m not a pure sprinter but I was logically announced as one of the favorites because the uphill finish suited me really well.”
The other rider that Simon feared mostly was Samuel Dumoulin, but the Cofidis rider seems to have lost his superiority in uphill sprint finishes on French soil this Spring. “My two victories in Catalunya have definitely changed me”, Simon explained. “In the past, I would have never dared to launch the sprint the way I’ve done it today. My confidence is great now. But I actually sprinted from too far out. After following [teammate Laurent] Mangel on the hill, I was ahead with 500 meters to go. Fortunately, Eric Berthou [of rival team Bretagne-Schuller] passed me in the last curve and I was able to take the lead again with 200 meters to go.”
“This is my first pro win in France”, said Simon, 26, who turned pro with Crédit Agricole in 2008 and won his first race last year at Villafranca in Spain.
“I’ve dreamt about it and now I’ve done it. Now I’m going to the Ardennes classics with a great motivation. It won’t be the same level of racing though! It’s flat out all the time. It’ll be a good experience anyway. If I could be in the top 15 at Flèche Wallonne, I’d be happy, but it finishes on a wall. I’m told that Liège-Bastogne-Liège suits me better. I have to see by myself if it’s true or not.”
The surprise of the top 3 was Englishman Jonathan McEvoy, 22, who took third place behind Frenchmen Simon and Dumoulin. “But I’m not surprised to be there”, McEvoy told Cyclingnews. “I’m in good form really and I knew it after winning on the British Premier calendar last week. We came here with a strong team on a course that suited me and I positioned myself pretty well. I followed my teammates and the Cofidis rider [Dumoulin]. Tactics were good but I just didn’t have the legs for winning.”
McEvoy will try and get his first international win at the Tour de Bretagne from April 25 to May 1st. The rider from St. Helen’s near Liverpool is obviously ready to pursue Endura Racing’s strong showing in France after the triumphs of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke at the Tour of Mediterranean and the Tour du Haut-Var earlier this year.
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