Hivert hails winter success

Jonathan Hivert has had such a successful early season that he feels like he can already take a vacation. The winter months have been good to the Sojasun rider, who won the overall at Etoile des Bessèges without winning a stage and then claimed back-to-back stage wins in the Ruta del Sol.

"I'm happy - I had never won a stage race, and then I made it happen in Bessèges. I had never won two days in a row, now I have. I had never won more than two races in the same season: it is done. I think I can go on holiday now!" Hivert joked.

The Sojasun team had its work cut out, as the 194km stage took place in pouring rain and strong winds. But after winning the opening road stage, Hivert said the team's morale was good.

"I was well protected. I was pulled along and never had to be in the wind, and in the end I was not tired. I was delivered to the base of the last climb by Maxime Méderel, Yannick Talabardon and Jimmy Engoulvent. The summit was to two kilometers from the finish and the slope was hard. A lot of riders were forced to zig zag... Then the sprint went from very far out, and there was wind from the front. I took a little long to come out, but at 100 metres, I had already reaccelerated past everyone, and I thought to myself 'if I have a guy in my wake, he's coming jump me', but no one had taken my wheel!"

The 27-year-old has already had his most successful season to date. In 2011, he won the Klasika Primavera, Paris-Troyes and a stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia, but in 2012 he had just one victory, a stage of the Tour of Romandie in a similarly hilly finish.


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