By Jean-François Quénet
The French 2007 season will end Sunday with the Chrono des Nations individual time trial held in Les Herbiers in western France. Junior men and women, elite women, under 23 men, and elite men will contest the event. The Grand Prix des Nations was created in 1932 and disappeared in 2004, but was revived and merged with the Chrono des Herbiers in 2006 to become the Chrono des Nations.
In the women's category, an international field will consist of defending champion Priska Doppmann and her team-mates Pascale Schnider, Patricia Schwager and Sarah Daster (Raleigh), Swede Suzanne Ljungskog, British riders Emma Pooley, Caroline Kloiber and Pippa Handley, Siobhan Dervan of Ireland, Australian Bridie O'Donnell, American Larssyn Ruegg, Lada Kozlikova and Tereza Hurikova from the Czech Republic. Mie Lacota and Maja Watt Andersen from Denmark and Belgian national champion An van Rie and her compatriot Ludivine Henrion will also be there. Among the 31 starters, Edwige Pitel (Uniqa), Marina Jaunatre (Vienne Futuroscope) and Cathy Moncassin (Pruneaux d'Agen) are the French favorites.
Nine national time trial champions will join the elite men's field including defending champion Raivis Belohvosciks of Latvia, Vladimir Gusev (Russia), Matti Helminen (Finland), Matija Kvasina (Croatia), Grega Gazvoda (Slovenia), Gustav Larsson (Sweden), Laszlo Bodrogi (Hungary), Nicolas Roche (Ireland) and Stef Clement (Netherlands) who will be racing near the headquarters of his trade team Bouygues Telecom with Thomas Voeckler and Dimitri Champion.
Runner-up in the road race world championship Russian Alexander Kolobnev (Team CSC) will be one of the stars alongside Andriy Grivko (Milram), Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval), Dominique Cornu and Olivier Kaisen (Predictor-Lotto), Freddy Bichot, Romain Feillu and Denis Robin (Agritubel), Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux), Sébastien Duret and Noan Lelarge (Bretagne-Armor Lux), Niels Brouzes (Auber 93), Kilian Patour (Slipstream), Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r) and Maxim Gourov (Astana).