Frenchman Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues Télécom) succeeded in winning the 40th edition of the Tour du Limousin on Friday one year after he missed out on the overall victory by just one second. Fédrigo cruised to the finish of the final 184.8 kilometre stage from Rochechouart and Limoges in seventh place behind stage winner Alexander Usov (Ag2r), having held the leader's jersey since the second stage.
Fédrigo took the overall classification by six seconds over Spaniard Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne), gaining his first win of the season and, after winning the event in 2004, becoming the third Frenchman to win the event twice after Bernard Hinault (1976, 1977) and Patrice Halgand (2000, 2002).
Fédrigo took the lead in the race on the rainy second stage when he attacked the final climb with Pereiro and Clément L'Hotellerie, unseating another Frenchman, Philippe Gilbert (FdJ) who later abandoned the race. "I'm always motivated when I come to this race," Fedrigo said. "It's a big satisfaction to win it again and it's my first win of the year. I was kind of sick of getting second or third - it's a relief to be a winner again. I've proven to be able to win again. Pereiro has tried to beat me but I stayed focused and I never lost his wheel."
Pereiro will move on to the Clásica de los Puertos to finish his preparation for the Tour of Spain that starts next Saturday in Vigo, and was satisfied with his performance even though he did not win. "It is a fact that I would have liked to win. It was nothing impossible, but our adversaries were very strong and very well prepared and it was not possible for us to win. Anyway I am really satisfied because my condition is very good before the Tour of Spain and that is what really matters to me right now."
Jean-Francois Quenet contributed to this report.
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