The Vendée Vert, a stage race in the small town of Chantonnay near the French Atlantic Coast, doubled as this year's French Marathon National Championship. The title race was run on Saturday in conjunction with the 100km first stage. Team Bulls' Thomas Dietsch successfully defended his French marathon national title.
Constant changes of direction and twisty, wooded passages made it tough for racers to find a constant rhythm. Wind also made for a tactical race, and after five kilometers, Thomas Dietsch,Frederic Frech, Pierre-Yves Facomprez and two others emerged as leaders of the race.
By 20km, the group had a 1:10 advantage over a four-man chase group. However, none of the leaders wanted to do the work in the wind, so by 30km, the gap was down to just 20 seconds, and nine kilometres later, the two groups merged for a nine-man lead group.
"At the start, we went very fast," said Dietsch. "Everyone wanted to test everyone else. Our first group got away well, but then no one wanted to work. That was ok with me as I had planned to save energy during the first half of the race.
"From 60km onward, I wanted to attack," he said.
Dietsch did just that and at kilometer 61, off he went. Only four riders could follow.
Ten kilometers later, he increased the pace still further and shook off all his competitors. Going full throttle, he opened a comfortable gap and rode the last 30km solo.
"When I attacked the second time nobody could follow me," said Dietsch. "I had really good legs and drove myself at the limit until just before the finish line. I wanted the largest possible gap over to the case of a mechanical. For the last 20km, I kept thinking of the final section of the Marathon World Championships in Graz. This kept me motivated."
Dietsch crossed the line as winner in 4:20:03, with a lead of 6:03 over Frech. Facomprez was third.
"I am overjoyed! Defending the champion's jersey was one of my big goals for 2009. I look forward to another year in blue, white and red."
On Sunday, Dietsch won the second and third stages of the Vendée, and thus also won the overall stage race, too.
Daniele Troesch won the women's race in 3:28:45. Laura Joubert was second, less than six minutes back, and Idriel Herveet was third.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thomas Dietsch (Fra)||4:20:03|
|2||Frederic Frech (Fra)||0:06:09|
|3||Pierre-Yves Facomprez (Fra)||0:07:07|
|4||Vivien Legastelois (Fra)||0:07:54|
|5||Steven Garcin (Fra)||0:12:09|
|6||Octavien Maillard (Fra)||0:18:44|
|7||Sébastien Le Naour (Fra)||0:19:04|
|8||Jacques Bouchevreau (Fra)||0:19:09|
|9||Simon Chasseloup (Fra)||0:19:16|
|10||Eric Weber (Fra)||0:20:59|
|11||Pierre Fuseau (Fra)||0:28:59|
|12||Pierrot Denais (Fra)||0:29:23|
|13||Paul Remy (Fra)||0:29:49|
|14||Mathieu Claude (Fra)||0:29:58|
|15||Jacky Le Port (Fra)||0:30:15|
|16||Alexandre Lavaud (Fra)||0:30:31|
|17||Sylvain Bremond (Fra)||0:32:43|
|18||Antoine Simon (Fra)||0:34:15|
|19||Pascal Thorel (Fra)||0:34:23|
|20||Nicolas Vauchelles (Fra)||0:34:34|
|21||Christophe Chambard (Fra)||0:38:56|
|22||Marc Schmit (Fra)||0:40:00|
|23||Joris Grelat (Fra)||0:40:15|
|24||Patrick Riskoff (Fra)||0:43:55|
|25||Maxime Le Guen (Fra)||0:44:17|
|26||Jonathan Cormier (Fra)||0:48:13|
|27||Thomas Capitaine (Fra)|
|28||Philippe Jacquinet (Fra)||0:48:26|
|29||Antoine Tremblay (Fra)||0:48:37|
|30||Romuald Gillard (Fra)||0:49:47|
|31||Marc Pellerin (Fra)||0:53:55|
|32||Eric Bourdin (Fra)||0:54:07|
|33||Nicolas Beraud (Fra)||0:54:43|
|34||David Louineau (Fra)||0:57:07|
|35||Guillaume Perrin (Fra)||0:58:04|
|36||Laurent Bossard (Fra)||0:59:29|
|37||Damien Eon (Fra)||1:01:00|
|38||Nick Burford (Fra)||1:02:04|
|39||David Guest (Fra)||1:04:01|
|40||Philippe Fournier (Fra)||1:04:40|
|41||Simon Marquand (Fra)||1:04:42|
|42||Thibault Jeannes (Fra)||1:05:01|
|43||Stephane Morel (Fra)||1:05:15|
|44||Nicolas Albert (Fra)||1:10:44|
|45||Pascal Pajot (Fra)||1:11:31|
|46||Ludovic Rousselot (Fra)||1:11:48|
|47||Nicolas Goupil (Fra)||1:12:18|
|48||Thibaut Ruamps (Fra)||1:12:47|
|49||Matthieu Jeannes (Fra)||1:13:15|
|50||David Pineau (Fra)||1:14:20|
|51||Antoine Forveille (Fra)||1:15:20|
|52||Thierry Duranteau (Fra)||1:17:36|
|53||Jean Pierre Guillet (Fra)||1:18:00|
|54||Jean Francois Martinet (Fra)||1:18:48|
|55||Pierre Arnaud Vallee (Fra)||1:21:58|
|56||Eric Lesage (Fra)||1:26:49|
|57||Joel Minet (Fra)||1:27:32|
|58||Denis Benoit (Fra)||1:28:27|
|59||Jean-Michel Lebougre (Fra)||1:29:02|
|60||Frederic Coiquil (Fra)||1:30:48|
|61||Guillaume Causse (Fra)||1:32:55|
|62||David Luttiau (Fra)||1:37:33|
|63||Cyrille Leveque (Fra)||1:38:25|
|64||Franck Louvet (Fra)||1:40:34|
|65||Thierry Bertrand (Fra)||1:42:12|
|66||Emmanuel Rahe (Fra)||1:42:15|
|67||Jean Francois Bricaud (Fra)||1:43:44|
|68||Aurelien Cheymol (Fra)||1:46:32|
|69||Serge Peraud (Fra)||1:51:49|
|70||Christian Lefevre (Fra)||1:54:17|
|71||Jean Jacques Chedorge (Fra)||2:00:30|
|72||Frederic Poirier (Fra)||2:03:45|
|73||Lionel Rousseau (Fra)||2:04:02|
|74||Tanguy Michel (Fra)||2:06:52|
|75||Yannick Bazillais (Fra)||2:22:09|
|76||Arnaud Aubinau (Fra)||2:24:02|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daniele Troesch (Fra)||3:28:45|
|2||Laura Joubert (Fra)||0:05:42|
|3||Idriel Herveet (Fra)||0:16:38|
|4||Manuella Glon (Fra)||0:25:32|
|5||Joceline Francois (Fra)||0:48:46|
|6||Muriel Rousseau (Fra)||1:33:30|
|7||Gwenola Glon (Fra)||1:39:07|