10/14/2012 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!

Wesley Kreder earns pro contract with Vendée win

Hivert and Hinault round out top three


It’s pretty unusual when a stagiaire wins a race for a WorldTour team. Wesley Kreder did it for Vacansoleil-DCM at the Tour de Vendée at the age of 21 and subsequently got the call for turning pro with the Dutch team.

He outclassed Thomas Voeckler on the Frenchman’s home soil and claimed a brilliant solo victory built in the last five kilometers after going clear with the King of the Mountains of the Tour de France.

“I came here as a stagiaire [trainee]”, he said.

“Normally it was for Marco Marcato to win today.”

But defending champion of the Tour de Vendée was a marked man after winning Paris-Tours one week ago but he also had a mechanical.

“We have controlled the rhythm of the bunch when Wesley went solo”, Marcato told Cyclingnews.

“I had a mechanical problem with my brakes when Voeckler attacked. I got scared that I wouldn’t make it back to the group but I did. I’m quite happy with the outcome because it’s been a great team work.”

The Tour de Vendée was shortened to 172 kilometres due to floods following an extremely rainy night. A leading trio formed when Julien Antomarchi (Team Type 1), Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme-Marseille) and Julien Duval (Véranda Rideau) attacked.

They were caught by a very reduced peloton at km 129 after which Kreder was already in a counter-attacking group with the likes of Anthony Charteau (Europcar), Laurent Pichon (Bretagne-Schuller), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Marcato.

Once they reached the finishing circuit of La Roche-sur-Yon, another leading group took over with Voeckler, Kreder, Pichon and Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) but the lack of cooperation from the latter put an end to their initiative.

However, Kreder took his chance before getting caught and that was the right thing to do.

“Only in the last kilometer, I got the feeling that I could win this race”, Kreder told Cyclingnews.

“But the last half kilometer was very, very long! Once, I looked behind me to see where the chasers were. It’s an enormous joy to win.” A few minutes after his victory, the former rider from Rabobank Continental team got a phone call from team manager Daan Luijckx who announced to him that he earned his neo-pro contract for the next two years with Vacansoleil-DCM. Then it was up to his cousin Michel to ring to congratulate him. “I’ve always looked at my cousins Michel and Raymond who ride for Garmin-Sharp”, he said. “I’m delighted to ride in the pro peloton with them next year.”

Vacansoleil-DCM directeur sportif Bob De Cnodder was fully aware of Kreder’s abilities as he already had him in his junior team of Vorselaar-DCM. “Wesley’s development has always been steady”, he told Cyclingnews.

“He’s very strong but he also has the proper behavior to perform on a bike. His cousins are faster finishers than him but generally speaking, he’s stronger than them. He’s got a good future.”

The Dutch team won the Tour de Vendée for the second time consecutively with an unexpected rider. Frenchmen got beaten at home for the tenth consecutive time since Franck Bouyer won this race for Bonjour in 2002. It was the final of the French cup but there was no suspense as Dumoulin had already secured the individual victory and Bretagne-Schuller the team’s ranking.

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Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team) will race for the same team in 2012. He was offered a full time contract after the win
Photo: © Isabelle Duchesne

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