Christophe Kern (Europcar) claimed his first elite national championship with a dominant performance in the time trial at Boulogne-sur-Mer. The 30-year-old topped Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) by 1:15 on the 45.2km course.
After nearly ten years as a professional, Kern has finally found the legs and the confidence for winning after prevailing on the Criterium du Dauphine stage to Les Gets earlier this month and finishing the race sixth overall.
"Having won in Les Gets, it all clicked. I knew I had good legs," Kern said to AFP.
Kern's spectacular ride may have been helped by a little extra adrenaline before his start time. "I was upset because my headset wasn't working five minutes before the start, but I told myself, "Do your time trial, ride fast!"
"I hear my father who was following me with my coach say, 'you're the best time at the first check'. The first check is my weak point: I'm always behind at the first intermediate time point. I knew it was a good sign, I had paced myself well, so I picked it up."
Kern said his recent performances were good indicators ahead of the Tour de France. "It is always good for my confidence and the trust of my team."
Riblon was pleased with his second place finish after struggling with injury in the past few weeks.
"Second place is a great satisfaction even if it is not a victory," he said in a statement. "I could not do better today and I have no regrets. I had some back problems after the Dauphiné and I was not sure where my form was upon arriving at the French Championships. This result proves that fitness was always there and it puts me at ease before the Tour de France.
"My back problems led me to slow down a bit and it may have been a blessing in disguise. Last year, I arrived at the championships a little tired. Here I enjoyed a certain freshness and it could be beneficial in the Tour de France. "
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Christophe Kern (Team Europcar)||0:59:42|
|2||Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale)||0:01:15|
|3||Geoffroy Lequatre (Team RadioShack)|
|4||Anthony Roux (FDJ)||0:01:31|
|5||Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis)||0:01:49|
|6||Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep Cycling Team)||0:01:50|
|7||Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar)||0:01:56|
|8||Jerome Coppel (Saur - Sojasun)||0:02:15|
|9||Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale)||0:02:28|
|10||Dimitri Champion (AG2R La Mondiale)||0:02:30|
|11||Nicolas Vogondy (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)||0:02:45|
|12||Stéphane Rossetto (Cc Nogent Sur Oise)||0:02:50|
|13||Jérémy Roy (FDJ)||0:03:00|
|14||Paul Poux (Saur - Sojasun)||0:03:01|
|15||Brice Feillu (Leopard Trek)||0:03:04|
|16||Damien Monier (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)||0:03:06|
|17||Rémi Pauriol (FDJ)||0:03:10|
|18||Nicolas Baldo (Atlas Personal)||0:03:17|
|19||Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R La Mondiale)||0:03:18|
|20||Cyril Lemoine (Saur - Sojasun)||0:03:26|
|21||Christophe Le Mevel (Team Garmin-Cervelo)||0:03:37|
|22||Yoann Paillot (Top 16 Cyclisme)||0:03:40|
|23||Johan Le Bon (Bretagne - Schuller)||0:03:41|
|24||Anthony Delaplace (Saur - Sojasun)||0:03:43|
|25||Thibaut Villa (Champagne Ardenne)||0:03:45|
|26||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)||0:03:46|
|27||Jérôme Pineau (Quickstep Cycling Team)||0:03:47|
|28||Kevin Lalouette (Roubaix Lille Metropole)||0:03:52|
|29||Romain Bacon (Big Mat - Auber 93)||0:04:02|
|30||Jean Edouard Antz (Amical Velo Club Aixois)||0:04:04|
|31||Matthieu Boulo (Roubaix Lille Metropole)||0:04:12|
|32||Julien Fouchard (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)||0:04:23|
|33||Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar)||0:04:27|
|34||Eric Berthou (Bretagne - Schuller)||0:04:50|
|35||Fabien Sidaner (Brest Iroise Cyclisme)||0:04:51|
|36||Romain Lemarchand (AG2R La Mondiale)||0:04:55|
|37||Sébastien Turgot (Team Europcar)||0:05:07|
|38||Kévin Reza (Team Europcar)||0:05:10|
|39||Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ)||0:05:14|
|40||Sébastien Fournet Fayard (Veranda Rideau Sarthe)||0:05:18|
|41||Franck Vermeulen (Veranda Rideau Sarthe)||0:05:33|
|42||Alliaume Leblond (Ile De France)||0:05:50|
|43||Benoît Vaugrenard (FDJ)||0:06:02|
|44||François Lamiraud (Cr4C Roanne)||0:06:06|
|45||Niels Brouzes (Vc Rouen 76)||0:06:17|
|46||Florian Le Corre (Roubaix Lille Metropole)||0:06:26|
|47||Yann Guyot (Ile De France)||0:06:39|
|48||Florent Mallegol (Brest Iroise Cyclisme)||0:07:08|
|49||David Skrzypczak (Nord Pas De Calais)||0:07:10|
|50||Sébastien Duret (Bretagne - Schuller)||0:07:57|
|51||Kévin Fouache (Chambery Cyclisme Formation)||0:08:39|
|52||Bastien Delrot (Team Worldofbike.gr)||0:09:27|