By Jean-François Quénet in Marseille
Quickstep's veteran French rider Cédric Vasseur bookended his career with a stage win in Marseille, besting his breakaway companions in a frenetic sprint to the line.
Ten years ago, Cédric Vasseur began his Tour de France career by winning stage give to La Châtre and taking the yellow jersey for five days, while today he reiterated that he will retire after taking the victory in stage ten of his last Tour de France. "I'm stopping at the end of this year for sure," he confirmed after his victory.
Vasseur rode like a master in breakaway, limiting his work in the final kilometres and timing his sprint to perfection. "I marked two men: Flecha because he hadn't worked much and Voigt because he's always fearful," the Frenchman explained. "When Halgand attacked, I followed Voigt. I knew how it would happen on the Col de la Gineste - I know this climb, in ten years, I've had many opportunities to climb it at the Tour of the Mediterranean or at other races. I suspected that the other riders would have problems."
Despite putting in one dig in the final five kilometres, the 36 year-old sat at the back of the small group and watched like a cat ready to pounce. "I gambled everything on my sprinting," he explained, still drained from the heat which reached 37 degrees on the day. "After 230 kilometres, the heat was hard to handle. With 200 meters to go, as I was in last position of the group and everyone was looking on the left, I surprised them on the right. I never lost the advantage of the speed, that's how I managed to keep one tyre ahead of Casar. I felt they were pushing behind me."
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