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Calmejane wins stage 4 in Circuit de la Sarthe

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Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) on the podium after winning stage 4 at Sarthe

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) on the podium after winning stage 4 at Sarthe (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Alex Dowsett wore the leader's jersey into stage 4 at Circuit de la Sarthe

Alex Dowsett wore the leader's jersey into stage 4 at Circuit de la Sarthe (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) and riders gather near the finish of stage 4 at Circuit de la sarthe

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) and riders gather near the finish of stage 4 at Circuit de la sarthe (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) in yellow after winning stage 4 at Sarthe

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) in yellow after winning stage 4 at Sarthe (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)

Lilian Calmejane of Direct Energie claimed a worthy solo victory atop the Monts des Avaloirs to win the queen stage of the Circuit Sarthe-Pays de la Loire and take the yellow jersey over from Alex Dowsett (Movistar) as he managed to fend off Arthur Vichot (FDJ). The ten seconds bonus awarded to the winner enabled him to lead the overall classification by seven seconds over the French champion ahead of the conclusive stage in Saint-Calais.

"The weight of the race wasn't necessarily on our shoulders today," Calmejane analyzed. "We rode the first two stages for a sprint, and Bryan Coquard won yesterday. After Movistar and FDJ dominated the time trial, it was up to them. We wanted to have someone in the breakaway and that's what happened."

U23 French road champion Paul Ourselin was the man in the move along with Nans Peters of AG2R La Mondiale, Kevin van Melsen of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Sébastien Delfosse of WB Veranclassic, Leigh Howard of Aqua Blue Sport and Armindo Fonseca of Fortuneo-Vital Concept.

"As we reached the final circuit, I was impatient," Calmejane continued. "I told Thomas [Voeckler] I wanted to dynamite the race. I felt we'd accelerate only in the final two laps. It didn't suit me. I wanted to take risks from further out to win the stage and take the lead. I felt no pressure as I have already won this year. I wasn't interested in coming second or third. I told Thomas to jump when we were one minute down on the breakaway group. He attacked when it was hard. We managed to come across. I went solo in the second last climb. My advantage was only 30 seconds, so I doubted of my chances during the whole final lap. Luckily I had some resources left to resist. It makes my victory even sweeter."

After Calmejane went on the offensive with 35km to go, Dowsett lost contact with the group of the favourites. "But I got a lot further than I did last time [in 2014]," the Englishman told Cyclingnews. "Three years ago, I got dropped in the second lap of the final circuit. Two laps to go at the top of the last climb, it's what got me today. I did everything I could. I didn't see Calmejane attacking. I was just concentrated on holding to the wheel in front of me. I wasn't capable of any kind of acceleration. I was just trying to look after myself and try to stay in the main bunch to do the best I could. I wasn't quite good enough but on this circuit, since they introduced it, the guy who wins the time trial never wins the overall."

Luke Durbridge was the last time trial winner who managed to hold onto the yellow jersey in 2012 but the course around Pré-en-Pail – a famous check point on the route of the Paris-Brest-Paris amateur race – has become harder since. Vichot was the main threat to Calmejane but he had used his teammates earlier on. Crossing the line in sixth place, the French champion missed out on the time bonus and is now seven seconds adrift.

"This is my sixth win as a pro," added Calmejane who joined Direct Energie last year. "Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España still stands out but all victories are good to take. This one at the Circuit de la Sarthe is a magnificent one. There was a lot of emotion on the line but my main feeling was the fatigue and the relief to win. I had to dig deep today. I hope my form will continue to be as good as this till the end of April because I'm scheduled for the Ardennes classics and the Tour de Yorkshire."

Calmejane has one stage to go to win his third stage race of the year after the Etoile de Bessèges and the Settimana Coppi & Bartali. "Vichot is faster than me," he noted. "The time bonus can make him a winner tomorrow if he wins the stage and I don't make the top 3. The last stage looks lumpy on paper but not as hard as today's. A six-man team makes it hard to control but it's better to have the jersey tonight than being second. I'll defend. If I have tomorrow the same legs I had today, it should be fine."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie5:27:27
2Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:14
3Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
4Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
5Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
6Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
7Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:43
8Wilmar Paredes (Col) Manzana Postobon
9Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
10Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
11Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
12Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport
13Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
14Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
15Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
16Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
17Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
18Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:16
19Gregory Habeaux (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
20Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
21François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:15
22Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:24
23Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
24Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
25Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
26Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:26
27Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:42
28Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ0:03:23
29Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:03:57
30Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:04:12
31Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
32Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
33Antoine Warnier (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
34Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
35Juan Pablo Villegas (Col) Manzana Postobon
36Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
37Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
38Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
39Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
40Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
41Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
42Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
43Jerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
44Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
45Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:04:34
46Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:08
47Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana Postobon0:08:29
48Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
49Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon
50Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:08:30
51Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
52Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ0:08:52
53Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
54Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
55Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
56Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
57Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
58Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:09:56
59Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue Sport0:13:19
60Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
61Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:14:05
62Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie
63Rayane Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
64Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
65Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team
66Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team
67Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
69Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
70Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
71Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
72Romain Gioux (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
73Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport
74Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
75Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
76Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
77Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ
78Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) AG2R La Mondiale0:14:34
79Sergio Andres Higuita (Col) Manzana Postobon0:17:42
80Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:18:45
81Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
82Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
83Ruben Pols (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:19:17
84Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
85Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
86Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:19:18
87Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport0:19:37
88Gerd De Keijzer (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk0:25:02
89Umberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
90Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team0:25:03
91Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ0:25:33
92Quentin Valognes (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:26:13
93Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:29:00

General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie12:11:03
2Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:00:07
3Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:13
4Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:24
5Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:44
6Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:45
7Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
8Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:54
9Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:57
10Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:59
11Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:01
12Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:05
13Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:09
14Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport0:01:10
15Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:01:19
16Wilmar Paredes (Col) Manzana Postobon
17Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:01:26
18Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:01:54
19Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:58
20Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:02:42
21Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:50
22François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:54
23Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:57
24Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
25Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:11
26Gregory Habeaux (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:03:13
27Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ0:03:43
28Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:04:03
29Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ0:04:25
30Antoine Warnier (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:04:33
31Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:04:34
32Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:04:41
33Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:42
34Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:04:44
35Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:04:45
36Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:04:49
37Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:05:01
38Jerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:04
39Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:05:23
40Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:05:50
41Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:08
42Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana Postobon0:09:09
43Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:09:11
44Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:09:12
45Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:09:23
46Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon0:09:32
47Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:09:39
48Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:40
49Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:09:51
50Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ0:09:55
51Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:10:35
52Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:10:38
53Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:10:58
54Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:11:29
55Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:12:55
56Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:14:05
57Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team0:14:24
58Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team0:14:30
59Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport0:14:36
60Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:14:45
61Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:14:46
62Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ0:15:05
63Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:15:07
64Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:15:11
65Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue Sport
66Juan Pablo Villegas (Col) Manzana Postobon0:15:23
67Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:15:29
68Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) AG2R La Mondiale0:15:35
69Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:15:51
70Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk0:16:17
71Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:16:19
72Sergio Andres Higuita (Col) Manzana Postobon0:18:22
73Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:19:41
74Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:20:04
75Romain Gioux (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:20:06
76Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie0:20:49
77Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:20:54
78Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:21:07
79Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:21:31
80Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:21:37
81Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport0:23:38
82Rayane Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:24:55
83Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie0:25:35
84Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:26:12
85Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ0:26:44
86Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:26:53
87Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:28:07
88Ruben Pols (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:29:24
89Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:30:48
90Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team0:34:51
91Umberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk0:35:13
92Gerd De Keijzer (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk0:39:22
93Quentin Valognes (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:39:45

Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie43pts
2Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ40
3Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect39
4Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie29
5Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits26
6Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits25
7Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team23
8Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli20
9Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept18
10Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon16
11Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli16
12Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM15
13Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo15
14Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM13
15Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team12
16Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert12
17Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert12
18Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij11
19Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team10
20Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect10
21Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport10
22Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij9
23Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij9
24Wilmar Paredes (Col) Manzana Postobon8
25Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM7
26Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept7
27Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team7
28Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM6
29Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ6
30Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise6
31Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert6
32Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon5
33Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ5
34Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ5
35Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport4
36Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli4
37Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) AG2R La Mondiale4
38Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale3
39Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3
40Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie3
41Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij2
42Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept2
43Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ2
44Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli2
45Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise1
46Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept1
47Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect1
48Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1
49Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport1
50Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert1

Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie25pts
2Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM21
3Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij14
4Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale10
5Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie10
6Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert9
7Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
8Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept8
9Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij6
10Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie5
11Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon4
12François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4
13Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect3
14Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits2
15Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport2
16Gregory Habeaux (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect1
17Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie1

Young riders classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wilmar Paredes (Col) Manzana Postobon12:12:22
2Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:31
3Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:38
4Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:42
5Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ0:08:36
6Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:39
7Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:10:10
8Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:13:26
9Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:27
10Sergio Andres Higuita (Col) Manzana Postobon0:17:03
11Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie0:19:30
12Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:19:48
13Rayane Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:23:36
14Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ0:25:25
15Ruben Pols (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:28:05
16Umberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk0:33:54
17Gerd De Keijzer (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk0:38:03
18Quentin Valognes (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:38:26

Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Movistar Team36:38:09
2AG2R La Mondiale0:00:29
3WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:01:06
4Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:21
5Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:01:31
6Manzana Postobon0:02:00
7Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:02:12
8Direct Energie0:03:03
10Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:59
11Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:10
12Aqua Blue Sport0:14:40
13Androni Giocattoli0:16:44
14Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:20:02
15Gazprom – Rusvelo0:30:05
16Team Novo Nordisk0:42:38
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