Demare beats Bouhanni to French road race title

Race comes back for bunch sprint after crosswind chaos

Top favourite Arnaud Démare (FDJ) won the French national championships road race in Saint-Omer (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) on Sunday afternoon. Démare won the sprint in a small peloton, holding off Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Jérémy Leveau (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) was third at long distance.

It's the second time 25-year-old Démare gets to wear the blue-blanc-rouge, after winning in Futuroscope in 2014. He takes over the jersey from teammate Arthur Vichot.

"We have a super team. We went 100 per cent for me today. I was very good and the team was strong. I'm super happy. [...] One doesn't get used to wearing this jersey. It'll be a different experience compared to the first time. I was very young in 2014," Démare said in the post-race flash interview.

The man next to him - Nacer Bouhanni - was less excited, two months after his crash in the Tour of Yorkshire. Before crossing the line, Bouhanni was making gestures to point out that he didn't like the way Démare sprinted.

"He moved twice. He didn't hold his line in the final metres. I was relegated for a few centimetres in Hamburg. I'm disappointed. I'd loved to have won," Bouhanni said in his post-race flash interview. Démare did move but the jury felt it wasn't enough to relegate him.

The French peloton faced a battle of 248 kilometres on a 15.5 kilometres long course, with the wind and two climbs featuring on each of the sixteen laps. A large group of fourteen riders formed the breakaway of the day but the FDJ-led peloton didn't offer them a lot of ground. Thomas Rostollan (Armée de Terre) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) were the strongest men in front, dropping them on the climb. Meanwhile, another chase group was formed. Eight riders from this group bridged up with the two leaders when passing the Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery. At 40 kilometres from the finish, the peloton was a minute down on the ten leaders.

Further attacks on the climbs in front and in the peloton created a further selection. A first selection left Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie), Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Flavien Dassonville (HP BTP - Auber 93) in front. Later, Florian Vachon and Thomas Boudat were joined by Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Yoann Offredo (WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect) on the last climb in the penultimate lap. The five leaders had a bonus of half a minute on the first peloton of 35 riders with all the best sprinters still there.

The final lap would decide if the peloton would get back on the leaders and which sprinters would survive the climbs. Julien Antomarchi (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) made a big move. After the first climb, he closed the gap with the five leaders, battling the crosswinds. On the second climb, he continued his effort and dropped the others. In the peloton, the Fortuneo-riders tried to disturb the build-up for the sprint. A small peloton of only twenty riders survived the climb, without Direct Energie-sprinters Bryan Coquard and Adrien Petit, but with Démare and Bouhanni.

At three kilometres from the finish Antomarchi was caught back by the FDJ-train. Mickaël Delage led out the sprint for Démare, who started the tailwind sprint. Bouhanni was glued on his wheel but failed to get out it. Jérémy Leveau (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) was best of the rest at two seconds, joining the two top sprinters on the podium.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ5:54:22 
2Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
3Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole0:00:02 
4Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
5Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
6Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
7Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
9Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
10Fabien Touze (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93  
11Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
12Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
13Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
14Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:05 
15Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
16Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:00:08 
17Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
18Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
19Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:11 
20Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole  
21David Menut (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:00:23 
22Erwann Corbel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
23Steven Tronet (Fra) Armee de Terre  
24Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93  
25Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ  
26Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
27Jimmy Raibaud (Fra) Armee de Terre  
28Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ  
29Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:00:28 
30Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93  
31Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:29 
32Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie  
33Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:38 
34Jeremy Bescond (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:01:05 
35Yannis Yssaad (Fra) Armee de Terre  
36Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:46 
37Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:48 
38Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison Genesis0:01:51 
39Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
40Pierre Moncorgé (Fra) MPC  
41Yannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
42Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie  
43Félix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole  
44Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
45Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
46Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
47Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
48Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
49Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:58 
50Brian Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie  
51Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
52Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
53Jérémy Maison (Fra) FDJ  
54Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie  
55Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:09 
56Nicolas Baldo (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:03:10 
57Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:03:46 
58Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:03:53 
59Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie  
60Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
61Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie  
62François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
63Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
64Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ0:04:18 
65Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
66Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ  
67Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
68Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
69Flavien Dassonville (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93  
70Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:04:40 
71Kevin Lebreton (Fra) Armee de Terre  
72Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:07 
73Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
74Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ  
75Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:20 
76Pierre Gouault (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93  
77Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie  
78Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
79Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie  
80Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
81Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie  
82Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
83Romain Feillu (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:07:24 
84Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
85Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
86Fabien Canal (Fra) Armee de Terre  
87Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Armee de Terre  
88Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
89Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
90Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie  
91Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
92Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
93Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
94Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Armee de Terre  
95Jordan Levasseur (Fra) Armee de Terre0:07:43 
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) FDJ  
DNFDavid Gaudu (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
DNFCedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMarc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ  
DNFBenoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFJeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFRomain Guillemois (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFNicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFBryan Alaphilippe (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFRomain Campistrous (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFThibault Ferasse (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFYann Guyot (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFJulien Loubet (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFJerome Mainard (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFThomas Rostollan (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFBenjamin Thomas (Fra) Armee de Terre  
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFChristophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFBenjamin Giraud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
DNFJeremy Cabot (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole  
DNFDylan Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole  
DNFQuentin Valognes (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFCorentin Cherhal (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFRomain Gioux (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFJulien Amadori (Fra) Interpro Cycling Academy  
DNFFlorian Hudry (Fra) Interpro Cycling Academy  
DNFGuillaume Levarlet (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFMaxime Gressier (Fra) Development Team Sunweb  
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Team Wiggins  


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