Samuel Dumoulin crowned as winner of Coupe de France

Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) was crowned winner of the season-long Coupe de France series at a special event at the Vincennes racecourse near Paris on Friday evening.

The 36-year-old scored a total of 348 points during the 2016 season, beating Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles) who was second with 330 points, while Romain Feillu (HP BTP-Auber 93) was third with 123 points. Dumoulin won four races in the 16-race series; the Roue Tourangelle, the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan, the Boucles de l'Aulne à Châteaulin and the Tour du Doubs, sealing victory by taking second place behind Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in the Tour de Vendee race.

It was his third Coupe de France victory since he turned professional back in 2002 and came despite a difficult start to the 2016 season when he climbed off during the Drôme Classic due to illness. However, he fought back to ride the Tour de France, helping Romain Bardet finish second overall and has recently extended his contract with AG2R-La Mondiale until 2018.

"I thought my career was going to end but now I've won the Coupe de France," Dumoulin explained to l'Equipe, holding up three fingers to recall his three victories.

"Early this year I was not at my usual level, my pride was hurt. But I wanted to show myself and others what I was capable of. That made me react, things started to go right again and I started enjoying myself again. I used my experience and understanding of races to fight back."

The Coupe de France is sponsored by French betting company PMU and so several riders and team staff tried their hand at harness racing despite heavy rain and cold conditions at the Vincennes race course.

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