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Casper knocks off big cheese in Camembert

Jimmy Casper had a lot to smile about.

Jimmy Casper had a lot to smile about. (Image credit: AFP)

French rider Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures - Sojasun) claimed victory at the 70th Paris-Camembert Lepetit in France after Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) sat out the bunch sprint finish. Valverde, who was the race's defending champion, decided not to risk injury on a tricky downhill run to the finish and crossed the line towards the lead group's rear as a result.

"It's not normally a course for sprinters, so I'll savour it all the more," Casper told AFP. "Conditions were ideal for me. We let the others go for it and then we worked on two kilometres – the last two kilometres. I thought for a moment in the sprint all was lost but then I saw an opening. It's a surprise win."

Casper out-paced former Tour de France yellow jersey winner and compatriot Romain Feillu (Agritubel) and Russian rider Alexander Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale).

"I would have liked to repeat my success of last year, but this time I couldn't as the final descent was very dangerous and I preferred not to risk too much to put myself in the sprint," Valverde told "The most important thing for me is to have good feelings in a race over 200 kilometres."

Click here for our full coverage of Paris-Camembert Lepetit.

Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.