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Bouhanni victorious at Tour de Vendée

Jean-François Quénet

Runner-up Dumoulin clinches second straight French Cup title

Tour de Vendée podium (L-R): Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93)

Tour de Vendée podium (L-R): Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93)

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It was a thrilling finale at the Tour de Vendée with Europcar in contention for both the home soil victory plus overall French Cup classification for 21-year-old sprinter Bryan Coquard who was leading after 15 legs. No Frenchman had won the Tour de Vendée since Franck Bouyer in 2002 but Nacer Bouhanni of emerged as a winner of a bunch sprint for the ninth time this year, followed by Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) who claimed the overall French Cup trophy for the second year in a row.

"I didn't care about the French Cup, we were here for winning the race," Bouhanni told Cyclingnews. "My teammate Laurent Pichon opened the sprint for me with 300 metres to go and he gave way to me at 150. The team has done a superb job. I only had to finish it off.

"We were racing for a bunch sprint finish. It's a nice victory. There aren't small races in professional cycling. I enjoy winning towards the end of the season because I've had up and downs this year with crashing at Paris-Nice and getting sick at the Tour de France, but it's not over yet. This is my ninth victory. I'd like to make it 10 at the Tour of Beijing." had already secured the overall team victory for the French Cup but runner-up on the individual classification Anthony Geslin had a chance to beat Coquard for the overall title. "I wasn't dreaming too much," Geslin said. "With sprinters like Nacer and Arnaud [Démare] for the last races of the season, we had other priorities than the French Cup. Winning races is still better."

That was also Europcar's point of view. "We said before the race that we'd be here for winning the Tour de Vendée," Coquard said. "But we panicked in the sprint. Kevin [Reza] led me out at 400 metres to go and I was at the front 250 metres before the line. The finish being uphill, it was too hard.

"I had good legs all day and we didn't have to ride behind the breakaway [formed by RusVelo's Pavel Kochetkov, Bretagne-Séché's Pierre-Luc Perrichon and Androni's Francesco Reda who were caught with 12km to go]. Unfortunately, we've also lost the French Cup but we'll learn from our mistakes. Sprinting is something new at Europcar. It's only the first year."

"It's pretty incredible that I end up winning the French Cup again," said Dumoulin who finished second on the day while Coquard only crossed the line in sixth place. "I wasn't extremely focused on that goal but I scored points here and there. Probably at the GP of Isbergues, when I put my wheel ahead of Coquard's, I took the two points that made the difference today.

"I wasn't sure of my form, so I observed the war of nerves between FDJ and Europcar and we took care of the chase. Nacer was above everyone in the sprint. I couldn't do better. I'm proud of what we've achieved. This trophy has great value in French cycling."

Full Results
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) 4:37:52  
2 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
3 Steven Tronet (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93    
4 Laurent Pichon (Fra)    
5 Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
6 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar    
7 Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
8 Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun    
9 Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
10 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
11 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
12 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
13 Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony    
14 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
15 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
16 Anthony Geslin (Fra)    
17 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    
18 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
19 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
20 Igor Boev (Rus) RusVelo    
21 Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
22 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo    
23 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
24 Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
25 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93    
26 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
27 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun    
28 Antonino Casimiro Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
29 Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93    
30 Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
31 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
32 Sergei Pomoshnikov (Rus) RusVelo    
33 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
34 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement 0:00:10  
35 Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93    
36 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:00:12  
37 Philip Lavery (Irl) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
38 Alexandre Billon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93    
39 Ibai Salas Zorrozua (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:15  
40 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:17  
41 Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:19  
42 Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
43 Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    
44 Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    
45 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
46 Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:00:21  
47 David Le Lay (Fra) Sojasun 0:00:23  
48 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun    
49 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
50 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
51 Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:00:26  
52 Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
53 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:28  
54 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) 0:00:29  
55 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:32  
56 Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:34  
57 Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:00:37  
58 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
59 Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
60 Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
61 Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille 0:00:45  
62 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:47  
63 Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale    
64 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:52  
65 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) RusVelo 0:00:55  
66 Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:03  
67 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) 0:01:09  
68 Cédric Pineau (Fra) 0:01:20  
69 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)    
70 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:29  
71 Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:50  
72 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) RusVelo 0:01:54  
73 Romain Bacon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93 0:01:56  
74 Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    
75 Alexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVelo    
76 Thomas Rostollan (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
77 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun    
78 Yoann Paillot (Fra) La Pomme Marseille 0:03:58  
79 José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille    
80 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
81 Jérémy Bescond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
82 Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
83 Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun    
84 Gennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo    
85 Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
86 Hendrik Kruger (RSA) La Pomme Marseille    
87 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
88 Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
89 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:04  
90 Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:05:40  
91 Etienne Tortelier (Fra) Sojasun    
92 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
93 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
94 Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
95 Frédéric Brun (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale