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Rousseau tops escape for stage and overall lead

It's not all serious as Rinaldo Nocentini (centre) has a laugh with Nicolas Rousseau after Martin Elmiger (left) almost knocks the set over.

It's not all serious as Rinaldo Nocentini (centre) has a laugh with Nicolas Rousseau after Martin Elmiger (left) almost knocks the set over. (Image credit: Ben Atkins/Cyclingnews.com)

France's Nicolas Rousseau won the opening stage of the Route du Sud Thursday in Pau, France. He outsprinted his escape companions Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano), Yann Pivois (Bretagne - Schuller) and Carlos Castaño (Xacobeo Galicia) at the end of the 143.2-kilometre stage.

"The plan was initially to protect our two climbers, Loubet and Bonnafond and try to escape," said Rousseau. "We got five minutes on the peloton and I never thought we would get such a lead. When I saw that the gap was still large at the top of Soulor I thought it was possible for the break to stay away. I'm not a pure climber but we maintained a pace that suits me.

"I felt really good today and I waited for the sprint because I know I have a good peak speed. I really believed in my chances, I took the wheel that I thought the fastest, Carlos Castano, and I won. This victory is special because I'm in my adopted home and I know the roads in the area."

Rousseau, of team AG2R La Mondiale, also claimed the overall lead with three more days of racing to come. Tomorrow's stage finishes in Pierrefitte Nestalas after 143.8 kilometres.

The Route du Sud stage was his first professional win after four years of racing. Rousseau, 26, finished seventh in the Boucles de l'Aulne last month.

Results
1Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3:45:23
2Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
3Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
4Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
5Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:01:58
6Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
7Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
8Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel
10Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
11Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
12Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
13Krzysztof Szczawinski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
14Alexandre Blain (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
15Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
16Arnaud Labbe (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
17Eduardo Gonzalo (Spa) Agritubel
18Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
19Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
20Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
21Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
22Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
23Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
24Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
25Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
26Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
27Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
28Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Agritubel
29Mikael Cherel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
30Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
31Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
32Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) AG2R La Mondiale
33Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
34Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
35Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
36Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
37Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne
38Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
39Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
40Blaise Sonnery (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
41Florian Morizot (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
42Pasquale Muto (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
43Aurelien Duval (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
44Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano
45Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
46Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
47Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
48Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93
49Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93
50Massimo Giunti (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
51David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel
52Edwin Carvajal (Col) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
53Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
54Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
55Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
56Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
57Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 930:16:58
58Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
59Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
60Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
61Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
62Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 93
63Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
64Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
65Morgan Chedhomme (Fra) Auber 93
66Luigi Sestili (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
67Dimitri Le Boulch (Fra) Auber 93
68Baden Cooke (Aus) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
69Bastien Delrot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
70Roger Beuchat (Swi) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
71Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
72Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
73Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
74David Herrero (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
75Nicolas Jouanno (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
76Andrea Moletta (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
77Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
78Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
79Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil-Shimano
80Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
81Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
82Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel
83Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
84Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
85Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise des Jeux
86Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil-Shimano
87Alexander Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
88Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
89Sébastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
90Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
91Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
92Antonio d'Aniello (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
93Cyril Bessy (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
94Yann Huguet (Fra) Agritubel
95Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel
96Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil-Shimano
97Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
98Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
99Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
100Julien Belgy (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
101Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
102Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
103Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
104Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
105Tigran Korkotyan (Arm) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:25:54
106Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93
107Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93
108Romain Villa (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
109Franck Bouyer (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
110Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
111Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:28:24
112Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
113Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Xacobeo Galicia
114Julien Simon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
115Yann Rault (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
116Marcel Weber (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
117Shusaku Matsuo (Jpn) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:33:25
118Janusch Laule (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:33:37
HDCarlo Westphal (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:41:47
DNFChristophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel
DNFJohann Tschopp (Swi) BBox Bouygues Telecom
DNFBenjamin Stauder (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Skil-Shimano

Points
1Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale20pts
2Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano17
3Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller15
4Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia13
5Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team11
6Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce10
7Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce9
8Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
9Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel7
10Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole6
11Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom5
12Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4
13Krzysztof Szczawinski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia3
14Alexandre Blain (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne2
15Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano1

Mountain 1 - Col du Soulor
1Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano7pts
2Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale5
3Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia3
4Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller2
5Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce1

Mountain 2 - Col de Bordères
1Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano5pts
2Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3
3Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia2
4Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller1

Teams
1AG2R La Mondiale11:20:05
2Skil-Shimano
3Bretagne - Schuller
4Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce0:01:58
5Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
6Agritubel
7Roubaix Lille Metropole
8Francaise Des Jeux
9Bbox Bouygues Telecom
10Miche-Silver Cross-Selle Italia
11Caisse d'Epargne
12Xacobeo Galicia0:15:00
13Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:16:58
14Auber 93
15Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:31:58
16Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:40:54

General classification after stage 1
1Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3:45:04
2Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano0:00:10
3Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:13
4Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia0:00:15
5Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:02:17
6Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
7Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
8Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel
10Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
11Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
12Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
13Krzysztof Szczawinski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
14Alexandre Blain (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
15Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
16Arnaud Labbe (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
17Eduardo Gonzalo (Spa) Agritubel
18Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
19Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
20Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
21Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
22Anthony Charteau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
23Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
24Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
25Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
26Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
27Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
28Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Agritubel
29Mikael Cherel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
30Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
31Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
32Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) AG2R La Mondiale
33Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
34Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
35Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
36Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
37Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne
38Serafin Martinez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
39Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
40Blaise Sonnery (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
41Florian Morizot (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
42Pasquale Muto (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
43Aurelien Duval (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
44Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano
45Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
46Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
47Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
48Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93
49Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93
50Massimo Giunti (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
51David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel
52Edwin Carvajal (Col) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
53Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
54Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
55Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
56Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
57Niels Brouzes (Fra) Auber 930:17:17
58Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
59Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
60Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
61Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
62Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 93
63Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
64Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
65Morgan Chedhomme (Fra) Auber 93
66Luigi Sestili (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
67Dimitri Le Boulch (Fra) Auber 93
68Baden Cooke (Aus) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
69Bastien Delrot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
70Roger Beuchat (Swi) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
71Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
72Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
73Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
74David Herrero (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
75Nicolas Jouanno (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
76Andrea Moletta (Ita) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia
77Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
78Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
79Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil-Shimano
80Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
81Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
82Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel
83Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
84Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
85Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise des Jeux
86Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil-Shimano
87Alexander Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
88Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
89Sébastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
90Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
91Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
92Antonio d'Aniello (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
93Cyril Bessy (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
94Yann Huguet (Fra) Agritubel
95Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Agritubel
96Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil-Shimano
97Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
98Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
99Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
100Julien Belgy (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
101Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
102Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
103Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
104Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
105Tigran Korkotyan (Arm) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:26:13
106Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93
107Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93
108Romain Villa (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
109Franck Bouyer (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
110Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
111Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:28:43
112Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
113Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Xacobeo Galicia
114Julien Simon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
115Yann Rault (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
116Marcel Weber (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel
117Shusaku Matsuo (Jpn) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:33:44
118Janusch Laule (Ger) Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:33:56

Points classification
1Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale20pts
2Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano17
3Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller15
4Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia13
5Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team11
6Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce10
7Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce9
8Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
9Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel7
10Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole6
11Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom5
12Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4
13Krzysztof Szczawinski (Pol) Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia3
14Alexandre Blain (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne2
15Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano1

Mountains classification
1Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano12pts
2Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
3Carlos Castano (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia5
4Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller3
5Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce1

Teams classification
1AG2R La Mondiale11:20:05
2Skil-Shimano
3Bretagne - Schuller
4Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce0:01:58
5Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
6Agritubel
7Roubaix Lille Metropole
8Francaise Des Jeux
9Bbox Bouygues Telecom
10Miche-Silver Cross-Selle Italia
11Caisse d'Epargne
12Xacobeo Galicia0:15:00
13Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:16:58
14Auber 93
15Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:31:58
16Team Stegcomputer - Neotel0:40:54

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