Mengin's disaster

By Sabine Sunderland

A very emotional Marc Madiot, directeur sportif of Francaise des Jeux, was interviewed shortly after the stage had finished. Madiot wasn't able to hold back his tears while he was expressing how sorry he felt for one of his favourite riders, Christophe Mengin, who has ridden for him for the last nine years.

Mengin, whose attack was vigorous and lasted until the crash in the last corner, had made it an exciting day for Madiot following him in the car. The unloading after the race was intense and a very moved Madiot didn't try to hide his emotions of disbelief and hurt: "We've been together in the team for so long. It's so hard for me to see this happening to him. I'm really very, very sad and disappointed. Christophe is a great rider and a fantastic guy; this was a home race for him, he really deserved to win. It's not like he will have another 50 chances like this late in his career. Christophe has known so much bad luck in his career. It's incredible. I am really deeply disappointed he again wasn't granted one bit of luck today, it's tragic."

Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) added, "I was with Christophe in the finale. We rolled in together after the crash; he really took a bad tumble. It is a real pity this happened to him because he was so helpful for everybody today. He's a local and knew the roads so well; he informed us of all the dangerous points and then he crashes so unfortunately himself. It's such a shame this happened to such a nice guy."

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