Ladagnous sprints to La Poly Normande victory

Française Des Jeux riders take first and third

Matthieu Ladagnous quickly overcame the disappointment of his non-selection for the Tour de France by continuing Française des Jeux's recent dominance of the La Poly Normande. After finishing fourth overall in the Tour de Wallonie, Ladagnous won the French Cup race organised by the commentator of the Tour de France, Daniel Mangeas, in his Normand village of Saint-Martin-de-Landelles on Sunday.

Following the successes of his teammates Arnaud Gérard (in 2008) and Benoît Vaugrenard (2007), Ladagnous finished first in an unusual bunch sprint and shared the podium with his Australian companion Wesley Sulzberger who placed third.

"When I came here I hoped for a breakaway," Ladagnous said. "I thought it was over when the front group had a seven-minute lead. I didn't feel good with 30 kilometres to go. At the end, it wasn't a typical bunch sprint. Everybody was tired. We all sprinted without a real strategy."

Sulzberger was on his wheel but also didn't have the speed for the finale, something that only Stefan van Dijk (Verandas Willems) had. "I was the strongest, but I started sprinting too late," said van Dijk.

Sulzberger was delighted to accompany Ladagnous to the podium. "It was flat out at the end but I'm happy to see the form coming back for Paris-Corrèze, which was my first race with Française des Jeux one year ago. I have big ambitions there," the Tasmanian said.

Ladagnous, who emerged as one of the most promising riders after winning the Four Days of Dunkirk two years ago, was surprisingly left out of the Tour de France team by the Française des Jeux management. "I was disappointed to learn it from Marc Madiot on the eve of the French championship," the rider from Pau said. "I watched it and there were many opportunities for a rider like me, but it's not the end of the world. There will be other Tours for me I hope and there are other interesting races as well. Today is a good example that there is a life as a bike rider after the Tour de France."

A nine-man breakaway took shape after only five kilometres of racing in the outskirts of Avranches where Bradley McGee won stage 7 of the 2002 Tour de France. It included Jocelyn Bar (Française des Jeux), Pierre Rolland (Bbox-Bouygues Telecom), René Mandri (AG2R La Mondiale), Benjamin Giraud (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne), Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Schuller), Anthony Delaplace (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun), Diego Tamayo (Carmiooro - A-Style), James Vanlandschoot (Verandas Willems) and Loïc Desriac (French National Team).

The riders in the break were not taken very seriously because many of them were trainees (Bar, Giraud and Delaplace), amateur (Desriac) and members of Continental teams, so they were able to extend their lead to 7:40 over the peloton. Eventually Cofidis took up the chase, not trusting Giraud's ability to win, otherwise the peloton would likely have never brought back the escapees.

Utilizing his form from the Tour de France, Rolland tried to go solo but his escape attempt was unsuccessful. Tamayo, Delpech and Delaplace, who was doing his first pro race in the same village of Saint-Martin-de-Landelles where he won the U17 race only four years ago, attacked their breakaway companions but this move, too, did not succeed. The peloton absorbed all of the riders from the break with 10 kilometres remaining to the finish and the teams of the sprinters prepared for a field sprint to decide the race.

Anthony Geslin (Française des Jeux) and the leader of the French Cup Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun) were among the riders who tried to avoid a bunch sprint with attacks in the closing kilometres, but each effort was neutralised by the peloton.

Matthieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux) led-out the sprint from 300 metres with teammate Wesley Sulzberger on his wheel. Stefan van Dijk (Verandas Willems) almost managed to overtake both Française des Jeux riders, but the photo-finish confirmed Ladagnous as the winner.

1Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux3:45:23 
2Stefan Van Dijck (Ned) Verandas Willems  
3Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux  
4Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
5Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
6Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel  
7Daniele Colli (Ita) Carmiooro - A-Style  
8Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
9Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
10Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
11Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
12Julien Simon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
13Laurent Beuret (Swi) Carmiooro - A-Style  
14Benoît Sinner (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
15Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Carmiooro - A-Style  
16Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
17Steven Caethoven (Bel) Agritubel  
18Alexandre Pichot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
19Cédric Pineau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
20Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Verandas Willems  
21Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel  
22Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
23Sébastien Harbonnier (Fra) Continental Team Differdange  
24Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
25Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 93  
26Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
27Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93  
28John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
29Vincent Jerome (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
30Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
31Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
32Jocelyn Bar (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
33Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
34Sylvain Georges (Fra) French National Team  
35Morgan Chedhomme (Fra) Auber 93  
36Remi Cusin (Fra) Agritubel  
37Aurelien Duval (Fra) Francaise des Jeux  
38Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
39Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale  
40Jean Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
41Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
42Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
43Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Auber 93  
44Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Carmiooro - A-Style  
45Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
46Blaise Sonnery (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
47Romain Zingle (Bel) Verandas Willems0:00:10 
48Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
49Diego Alejandro Tamayo (Col) Carmiooro - A-Style  
50Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
51Thomas Lebas (Fra) French National Team  
52Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
53Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
54James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems  
55Loïc Desriac (Fra) French National Team  
56Maryan Hary (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
57Jimmy Casper (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
58Guillaume Malle (Fra) French National Team  
59Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
60Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
61Eric Berthou (Fra) Carmiooro - A-Style  
62Franck Bouyer (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
63Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
64Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93  
65Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 930:00:16 
66Jeremy Galland (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
67Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel  
68Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
69Anthony De La Place (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:00:19 
70Romain Matheou (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
71Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
72Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:00:21 
73Yann Huguet (Fra) Agritubel  
74Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 930:00:31 
75Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:37 
76Antoine Dalibard (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:38 
77Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:44 
78Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Verandas Willems0:01:04 
79Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:01:46 
80Laurent Denonfoux (Fra) French National Team0:03:40 
81Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 930:03:42 
82Arnaud Molmy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
83Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
84Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:44 
85Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Verandas Willems  
86Cédric Collaers (Bel) Verandas Willems  
87Masaru Fukuhara (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
88Sébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Carmiooro - A-Style0:06:36 
DNFRony Martias (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFPierre Rolland (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFKenji Itami (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
DNFMasamichi Yamamoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
DNFMitsunari Mitaki (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
DNFSho Aikawa (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
DNFShinpei Fukuda (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
DNFGael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFNicolas Baldo (Fra) Continental Team Differdange  
DNFJempy Drucker (Lux) Continental Team Differdange  
DNFDominik Eberle (Ger) Continental Team Differdange  
DNFMorten Knudsen (Den) Continental Team Differdange  
DNFCyrille Heymans (Lux) Continental Team Differdange  
DNFJulien Fouchard (Fra) French National Team  
DNFMathieu Halleguen (Fra) French National Team  
DNFGaylord Cumont (Fra) French National Team  
DNFMartial Ricci Poggi (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
DNFMathieu Drouilly (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
DNFDenis Flahaut (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
DNFJonathan Bertrand (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
DNFBastien Delrot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas Willems  
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