After 18 seasons in the professional peloton, Pierrick Fédrigo will bring the curtain down on his career at the GP Ouest France-Plouay Sunday. The 37-year-old has spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Pro-Continental Fortuneo - Vital Concept squad after stints with Crédit Agricole, Bouygues Telecom and FDJ.
"I won the GP Plouay in 2008, I finished second in 2009, I am necessarily attached to this race," he said of his decision to end his career in Brittany. "And above all, my wife, my two children and my parents will be with me on Sunday. During all these years, they were there to support me and encourage me. it was very important that my family can share this moment with me."
Fédrigo added that he still coming to terms with his impending retirement and thanked the team for the last two seasons.
"Every person, rider and staff member, contributes to carry out a joint project. Emmanuel Hubert was able to develop his team while keeping the family spirit that is his trademark. It's a great team," he added.
During his career, Fédrigo also won four stages of the Tour de France, the French national road race title and the overall titles of Four Days of Dunkirk, Critérium International and Tour du Limousin. All but one of Fédrigo's 21 victories came in France with stage 4 of the 2008 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya the exception.
Joining Fédrigo for the race will be Jean-Marc Bideau, Anthony Delaplace, Pierrick Fedrigo, Arnaud Gérard, Julien Loubet, Dan McLay, Eduardo Sepulveda and Florian Vachon.
Pierrick Fédrigo celebrating his fourth and final Tour de France stage win back in 2012 (Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Chavanel's Tour du Poitou-Charentes TT win puts Direct Energie rider into race lead
Sylvain Chavanel's stage 4 time trial win at the Tour du Poitou-Charentes, a repeat of his 2014 triumph, elevated the Frenchman into the overall race leader's jersey with one stage to come. The win was Direct Energie's 24th of the season following Lilian Calmejane's Vuelta a Espana victory on Tuesday.
"I had seen the course. I knew it could suit me. It was a course and distance which I appreciate. I was still apprehensive about the heat. We must not forget that I come from the Arctic Race in Norway, and the temperature difference is very important. It was 40°C. It is not easy for the body," Chavanel told DirectVelo.
Chavanel covered the 23km course from Saint-Sauveur to Châtellerault in 26:51 minutes, 30 seconds faster then Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar).
"There are no surprises in the result. The first 10 are specialists. Nelson Oliveira made a big result at the Olympics," he added. "Beyond the fact of winning, I'm especially happy with the gaps that I made. In order to win the general classification of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes, it is known to that you have be very strong in the time trial. The last time I won here was also that way. I suffered on the first stage, then the shape has been very good since then."
Chavanel added that he will aim to defend his 30 second advantage to secure the overall victory before heading to Brittany for the GP Ouest France-Plouay for a title at the victory.
Medical attention for Lotto Soudal's Bart De Clercq after Vuelta a Espana crash
Riding in the GC group on stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana with less than 10km to go, it looked like being a good day's work for Bart De Clercq before he suddenly found himself up against and over a railing. The Lotto Soudal rider suffered cuts and abrasions from the accident on his right-hand side, finishing the stage in 42nd place, 58 seconds down on stage winner Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange). Louis Meintjes (Lampre - Merida) was also involved in the crash but recovered to finish 30th
A release from the team explained that "His [De Clercq] elbow needed to be stitched" after he crossed the line with a torn kit and dried blood on his arm and leg. The 30-year-old, who was second overall at Tour de L'Ain on the eve of the Vuelta, sits in 27th place and will continue after receiving medical attention.
Tour de l'Avenir stage win for Gaudu, Rodriguez moves into yellow jersey
Having finished seventh in Les-Carroz-d'Arâches, Frenchman David Gaudu took a solo victory on stage 6 of the Tour de l'Avenir as John Rodriguez, the stage 5 winner, moved into the yellow jersey. The 19-year-old, who joined FDJ as a stagiaire in July and will ride with the team from 2017, won the stage by 14 seconds over Italian Edward Ravasi, celebrating with his jersey undone. Emulating compatriot Alexander Geniez (FDJ) on stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana this week.
A day after his stage win the day before, Rodriguez returned to the podium to collect the yellow leader's jersey as he holds a nine second advantage over Gaudu.
"I am very happy to win for Colombia, for my family, for those who believe in me, for me ... The yellow jersey in the Tour de l'Avenir is an honor. This is the biggest race of my schedule," he told DirectVelo, adding he is not sure if he can keep the jersey. "I do not know how we will defend my position as leader tomorrow. We must first discuss tactics ... "
The race concludes Saturday with the final stage taking the peloton from Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne to the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer.
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Vuelta a Espana - Stage 6 Video Highlights