Koldo Fernandez wins sprint in the Vendée

Leonardo Duque seals overall French Cup success

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Koldo Fernandez used the racing strength he acquired at the Vuelta a España to beat the French sprinters at the Tour de Vendée, the 12th and final leg of the French Cup. The Spaniard repeated his effort of two years ago and won for the second time in La Roche-sur-Yon ahead of Cervélo's Davide Appollonio, who got a great lead-out from teammate Heinrich Haussler on his way back to form.

Colombia's Leonardo Duque, the 10th place finisher, secured the overall win at the French Cup by a single point over Florian Vachon, who finished seventh.

"The roads over here suit me because it's similar to the Basque country," said the 29-year-old from Zurbano. "I'm very happy to win here again. To tell the truth, I was watching Jimmy Casper, so I was a bit surprised when the two Cervélo riders created a gap, but it went well at the end."

The race concluded with a bunch sprint finish but the race was intense all the way through. Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ) were the most active riders in the 10-man breakaway that took off soon after the start and got caught with 50 kilometres to go. Voeckler tried again but a group of four managed to go away with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel), Ronny Martias (Saur-Sojasun), Rein Taarämae (Cofidis) and Bert Scheirlinckx (Landbouwkrediet).

"I tried at the beginning, I tried in the middle and I tried at the end of the race but it just didn't work out," said the French champion who was riding with his heart more than with his head to show that his BBox Bouygues Telecom team is still alive. Timing is tight for team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau to seal a deal with a new sponsor by Tuesday. "Every year there are a lot of people at the Tour de Vendée but this time there were even more," Voeckler said. "It probably has something to do with the fact that people want to see our team at the Tour de Vendée and at the start of the Tour de France again next year."

The Bbox Bouygues Telecom squad finished the work initiated by RadioShack by catching the four-man breakaway with 20km to go. Romain Lemarchand (BigMat-Auber 93) attacked with 10km to go, and was joined by Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel), Gert Verheyen (Landbouwkrediet), Rob Ruijgh and Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil). Voeckler and Benoît Vaugrenard (FDJ) tried to bridge the gap but it was all together again with 2km to go and the bunch sprint was inevitable.

The Saur-Sojasun team rode hard at the front but the duo from Cervélo and Fernandez were definitely stronger. "The strength I have from the Tour of Spain made me have an advantage," Fernandez told Cyclingnews.

"I was dreaming of winning but when I saw Fernandez passing me, there was nothing to do," said runner up Davide Appollonio, who was happy with his French campaign as he won the last stage of the Tour du Limousin and finished second at the GP Fourmies.

Fernandez continued the tradition of Basque riders winning at the Tour de Vendée, as they've won four of the past five editions.. It started with Alberto Leanizbarrutia in 1988, then Mikel Gaztanaga won twice in a row (2006 and 2007) and now Fernandez has put his name on the record for the second time following his 2008 win.

Full results
1Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi4:44:07 
2Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo Test Team  
3Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
4Cédric Pineau (FRa) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
5Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
6Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Team Katusha  
7Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
8Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
9Aristide Ratti (Ita) CarmioOro NGC Carmiooro - NGC  
10Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne  
11Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne  
12Morgan Kneisky Roubaix Lille Metropole  
13Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
14Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne  
15Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
16Mikhail Antonov (Rus) Team Katusha  
17Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
18Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack  
19Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha  
20Renaud Dion (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
22Rob Ruyjgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
23Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller  
24Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
25Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale  
26Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
27Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
28Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:09 
29Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack0:00:11 
30Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
31Amets Txurruka Ansola (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
32Mikael Chérel (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
33Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93 Big Mat - Auber 93  
34Stéphane Rossetto (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
35Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
36Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator Topsport  
37Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
38Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
39Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
40Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
41Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:17 
42Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller0:00:18 
43Andrea Piechele (Ita) Carmiooro - NGC  
44Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
45Yohann Gené (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
46Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team  
47David Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale  
48Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:25 
49Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team Radioshack  
50Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller0:00:27 
51Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R - La mondiale  
52Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
53Thibaut Pinot (FRA) Française Des Jeux0:00:30 
54Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
55Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller  
56Laurent Beure (Fra) Carmiooro - NGC  
57Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha Team Katusha  
58Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne  
59Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne  
60Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun Saur - Sojasun  
61Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne  
62Romain Bacon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo Test Team0:00:37 
64Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team  
65Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
66Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
67Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
68Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
69Brice Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
70José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Team Radioshack  
71Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack  
72Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team RadioShack  
73Florian Morizot (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
74Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:42 
75Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom  
76Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
77Javier Francisco Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:44 
78Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
79Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:45 
80Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne0:00:52 
81Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne  
82Jérémy Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:05 
83Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:01:08 
84Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:19 
85Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
86Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
87Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
88Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Cervélo Test Team0:07:33 
89Joaquin Novoa Menedez (Spa) Cervelo Test Team0:08:19 
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha  
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale  
DNFParide Grillo (Ita) CarmioOro NGC  
DNFAntonio Quadranti (Ita) CarmioOro NGC  
DNFMartial Ricci-Poggi (Fra) Landbouwkrediet  
DNFGrégory Barteau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
DNFBart Dockx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
DNFMathieu Drouilly (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
DNFNiels Brouzes (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
DNFMatthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFSteven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFLloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlexandre Lemair (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFAlexander Mironov (Rus) Itera-Katusha Team Katusha  
DNFMikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFJulien Loubet (Fra) AG2R - La mondiale  
DNFFabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
DNFJohan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFClinton Avery (Nzl) Team RadioShack  
DNFDmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Team Radioshack  
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
DNFNicolas Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFSébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Carmiooro - NGC  
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale  
DNFJonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
DNFArnaud Molmy (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFDenis Galimzyanov (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFJoao Correia (Por) Cervelo Test Team  
DNFBrett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team  
DNFCyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale  
DNFSander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
DNFLieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
DNFEric Berthou (Fra) CarmioOro NGC  


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