Fournier wins opening stage of Circuit de la Sarthe

FDJ neo-pro solos in ahead of Coquard

French cycling has found one more super talent in Marc Fournier, 21, who impressed with a solo victory in the inaugural stage of the Circuit cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire the same way Thomas Löfkvist, also with FDJ and aged 20 at the time, did it to clinch the overall classification in 2004 through the last stage in Le Mans.

"Our plan was to join the early breakaway so I did, but I never imagined I'd be the winner at the end," Fournier told Cyclingnews at the finish in Château-du-Loir. "It's exceptional. I'm a neo pro, just 21 years of age and I win my first pro race although it's only my sixth day of racing this year. People aren't used to see breakaways like this in the pro ranks anymore. It's usually controlled by sprinters."

Fournier followed an attack by Germany's Grishka Janorksche of Team Roth at kilometer 2 but it wasn't going to be the standard scenario expected by many. The advantage of the duo reached 17:20 at the côtes des Jasnières (km 88) but the riders were firstly informed it was twenty minutes, which boosted Fournier and Janorschke's motivation.

"Considering my skills as a rouleur, I've thought the chasers would have to bury themselves to catch us," Fournier noted. "Until that point, since I was at the head of the race I was targeting the King of the Mountains competition as a consolation prize. But then I've believed there was a chance to win."

In the peloton, all eyes were on Direct Energie who lined up with Bryan Coquard as the best sprinter of the 95 starters. "We got scared when we heard of the twenty minute gap," explained his teammate Tony Hurel. "But when we started pulling, nobody came to help us. We had no choice after we took our responsibilities at the Route Adélie and Paris-Camembert."

Led by Thomas Voeckler, the French team reduced the deficit of the bunch to 2:15, as such Fournier isn't assured of winning the Circuit cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire like another FDJ rider, Carlos Da Cruz who kept an advantage of 5:52 over the peloton at the end of stage 1 he won in 2003.

"It should be ok to defend the yellow jersey in the morning stage tomorrow and I'm not a bad time triallist either," said the European champion for individual pursuit (Athens 2015). "But Thursday's stage at Pré-en-Pail will be the most complicated."

On that day, the neophyte from Normandy expects to lead the race just a stone's throw away from his hometown of Alençon.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ4:41:13 
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:15 
3Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling  
4Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team  
5Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
6Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
7Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
8Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
9Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
11Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
12Leonardo Duque (Col) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
13Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
14Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
15Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
16Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
17Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ  
18Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
19Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
20Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
21Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling  
22Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Stölting Service Group  
23Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
24Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie  
25Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
26Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
27Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
28Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team  
29Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie  
30Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
31Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team  
32Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
33Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
34Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ  
35Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
36Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie  
37Gaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
38Thomas Scully (NZl) Drapac Professional Cycling  
39Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team  
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
42Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie  
43Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:25 
44Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:13 
45Martin Kohler (Swi) Team Roth0:03:18 
46Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
47Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
48Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
49Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
50Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
51Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
52Daniel Diaz (Arg) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
53Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ0:03:55 
54Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling0:06:36 
55Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
56Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
57Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
58Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie  
59Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha0:06:55 
60Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group0:07:42 
61Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Team Katusha0:08:11 
62Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:24 
63Dylan Page (Swi) Team Roth  
64Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
65Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth  
66Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
67Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Stölting Service Group  
68Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
69Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
70François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
71Frank Pasche (Swi) Team Roth  
72Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
73Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
74Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
75Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
76Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
77Jens Mouris (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling0:11:43 
78Marc De Maar (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
79Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
80Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
81Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
82Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
83Boris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
84Peter Koning (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling  
85Nicolas Baldo (Fra) Team Roth  
86Giacomo Tomio (Ita) Team Roth  
87Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
88Jens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
89Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
90Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
91Jorge Arcas Pena (Spa) Movistar Team  
92Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
OTLSerghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:12:19 
OTLMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling0:25:25 
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ4:40:56 
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:26 
3Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling0:02:28 
4Leonardo Duque (Col) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:02:31 
5Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
6Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:32 
7Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
8Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
9Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
10Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
11Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
12Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
13Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
14Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
15Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
16Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
17Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
18Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ  
19Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
20Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
21Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
22Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling  
23Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Stölting Service Group  
24Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie  
25Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
26Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
27Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
28Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team  
29Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie  
30Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
31Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team  
32Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
33Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
34Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ  
35Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
36Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie  
37Gaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
38Thomas Scully (NZl) Drapac Professional Cycling  
39Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team  
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
42Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie  
43Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:42 
44Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:30 
45Martin Kohler (Swi) Team Roth0:03:35 
46Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
47Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
48Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
49Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
50Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
51Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
52Daniel Diaz (Arg) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
53Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ0:04:12 
54Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling0:06:53 
55Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
56Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group  
57Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
58Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie  
59Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha0:07:12 
60Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group0:07:59 
61Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Team Katusha0:08:28 
62Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth0:10:33 
63Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:40 
64Dylan Page (Swi) Team Roth0:10:41 
65Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
66Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
67Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Stölting Service Group  
68Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
69Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
70François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
71Frank Pasche (Swi) Team Roth  
72Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
73Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
74Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
75Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
76Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
77Jens Mouris (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling0:12:00 
78Marc De Maar (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
79Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
80Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
81Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
82Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
83Boris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
84Peter Koning (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling  
85Nicolas Baldo (Fra) Team Roth  
86Giacomo Tomio (Ita) Team Roth  
87Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
88Jens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
89Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
90Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
91Jorge Arcas Pena (Spa) Movistar Team  
92Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ36 pts
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie20 
3Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling16 
4Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team14 
5Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth13 
6Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec12 
7Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton10 
8Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits9 
9Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise8 
10Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton7 
11Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale6 
12Leonardo Duque (Col) Delko Marseille Provence KTM5 
13Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept5 
14Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ3 
15Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise2 
16Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha1 
17Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Stölting Service Group1 
18Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1 
Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ26 pts
2Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Roth20 
3Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise14 
4Martin Kohler (Swi) Team Roth8 
5Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie2 
6Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Fortuneo - Vital Concept2 
7Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team1 
8Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling1 
9Daniel Diaz (Arg) Delko Marseille Provence KTM1 
Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ4:40:56 
2Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling0:02:28 
3Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:32 
4Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
5Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
6Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Team Katusha0:08:28 
7Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:40 
8Dylan Page (Swi) Team Roth0:10:41 
9Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
10Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
11Frank Pasche (Swi) Team Roth  
12Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
13Giacomo Tomio (Ita) Team Roth0:12:00 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1FDJ14:08:09 
2Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:02:15 
3IAM Cycling  
4Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
5Direct Energie  
6Movistar Team  
7AG2R La Mondiale  
8Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
9Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:03:18 
10Stölting Service Group0:06:36 
11Drapac Professional Cycling0:07:39 
12Team Katusha0:07:58 
13Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:10:24 
14Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:11:27 
15Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
16Team Roth0:19:36 
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