Vogondy claims first TT championship

Bbox Bouygues Telecom rider wins third career national title

Nicolas Vogondy bested Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Katusha) in the French national time trial championship, a race that reunited three riders who had their careers marred by health problems recently.

Vogondy only returned to racing in April after his licence was denied by the French federation due to a heart arrhythmia revealed in a pre-season health screening. "I am maybe in the best shape of my career," said the 32-year-old Bbox Bouygues Telecom rider who won a mountain stage at the Dauphiné recently. "I came here for a podium placing and I'm very happy to have the best place. That's my way to thank my team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau who has given me a contract when other teams didn't return my calls."

Vogondy had been the French champion twice for road racing (2002 and 2008) but this was his first time in the individual time trial.

The French championship was held in the province of Vendée where Bbox Bouygues Telecom has their headquarters. That's where Sylvain Chavanel, who is considered a neighbour from the Poitou region, learnt his job as a cyclist. "I've never neglected the time trial in cycling life," said the Quick Step rider who suffered a skull fracture with one kilometre to go at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April. He came back quicker than planned but couldn't get a fourth national title for the time trial. "There is almost thirty seconds difference to Néné (Vogondy's nickname), so I can't be disappointed like last year," said Chavanel who lost his title one year ago to Jean-Christophe Péraud. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider didn't defend his crown this time around after his crash at the Dauphiné and the blood poisoning that affected him.

Laszlo Bodrogi, the third place finisher, was new to the podium of the French championship at the age of 33. He earned ten titles as Hungarian time trial champion but became a Frenchman by marriage two years ago. This was his first time racing for the blue, white and red jersey. For two hours he had the best time.

"It's been a long time to wait but when I saw the time checks, I understood I wouldn't win. These two were better than me," said the Katusha rider who had a big break in his career when he broke his shinbone and fibula prior to the world championships in 2008. The year before, he was second to Fabian Cancellara.

"This was like a paralympic event," joked Chavanel when the three best French time triallists described their recent problems. At least two of them, Vogondy and Chavanel, are hoping to take part in the Tour de France. Vogondy said that his licence is only valid until June 30, so he awaits another heart check to see if he's allowed to ride the Tour.

Elite men--49.9km
1Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox - Bouygues Telecom)1:03:29 
2Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)0:00:25 
3Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Katusha)0:00:29 
4Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step)0:01:12 
5Paul Poux (Sojasun Espoir Acna)0:01:28 
6Christophe Kern (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)0:01:40 
7Christophe Riblon (Ag2R La Mondiale)0:01:45 
8Sébastien Turgot (Bbox - Bouygues Telecom)0:01:46 
9Christophe Le Mevel (Francaise Des Jeux)0:01:48 
10Jérémy Roy (Francaise Des Jeux)0:01:49 
11Cyril Lemoine (Saur Sojasun)0:01:57 
12Dimitri Champion (Ag2R La Mondiale)0:02:04 
13Anthony Roux (Francaise Des Jeux)0:02:36 
14Benoît Vaugrenard (Francaise Des Jeux)0:02:38 
15Jean-Édouard Antz (AVC Aix En Provence)0:02:45 
16Geoffrey Soupe (CC Etupes - Le Doubs - Pays De Montbelliard)  
17Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)0:03:39 
18Alexandre Geniez (Skil - Shimano)0:03:45 
19Jerome Coppel (Saur Sojasun)0:03:46 
20Nicolas Bonnet (VC Vaux En Velin)  
21Damien Monier (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)0:03:50 
22David Lelay (Ag2R La Mondiale)0:03:53 
23Matthieu Boulo (Roubaix Lille Metropole)0:04:02 
24Alexandre Blain (Endura Racing)0:04:05 
25Romain Sicard (Euskaltel - Euskadi)0:04:12 
26Romain Bacon (Ile De France)0:04:14 
27Damien Gaudin (Bbox - Bouygues Telecom)0:04:17 
28Sébastien Duret (Bretagne Schuller)0:04:24 
29Sylvain Georges (Creysot Cyclisme)0:04:33 
30Florian Morizot (Big Mat - Auber 93)0:04:44 
31Johan Mombaerts (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
32Romain Lemarchand (Big Mat - Auber 93)0:04:54 
33Johan Le Bon (Bretagne Schuller)0:04:58 
34Julien Antomarchi (VC La Pomme Marseille)0:05:00 
35Anthony Delaplace (Saur Sojasun)0:05:12 
36Eric Berthou (Carmiooro - NGC)0:05:17 
37Nicolas Boisson (Cc Etupes - Le Doubs - Pays De Montbelliard)0:05:20 
38Florent Mallegol (Cotes d'Armor Cyclisme)0:05:24 
39Thibaut Pinot (Francaise Des Jeux)0:05:25 
40Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox - Bouygues Telecom)0:05:33 
41Nicolas Bazin (CC Villeneuve Saint Germain)0:05:53 
42Romain Villa (SCO Dijon)0:05:59 
43Thomas Girard (Chambery Cyclisme Formation)0:06:03 
44Rémy Bebiano (Cote Dazur)0:06:34 
45Arnaud Jouffroy (BKCP Powerplus)0:06:42 
46Tony Gallopin (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)0:06:56 
47Mickaël Dhinnin (Limousin)0:07:02 
48Étienne Pieret (Vendée U)0:07:11 
49Stevens Aubert (Cote Dazur)0:07:13 
50Franck Vermeulen (VC Rouen 76)0:07:49 
51Bastien Damiens (Cycle Poitevin)0:07:50 
52Pierre-Luc Perichon (SCO Dijon)0:08:12 
53Anthony Saux (Cotes d'Armor Cyclisme)0:08:22 
54Yann Moritz (Vendée U)0:09:21 
55Jean-Marc Maurin (VC La Pomme Marseille)0:09:57 
56Julien Fouchard (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)0:10:12 
DNFNicolas Baldo (Team Atlas Personal)  

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