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Pitel claims French road title in Vesoul

Edwige Pitel of Italian team SC Michela Fanini Rox claimed her second French road title almost ten years after the first one in Aurillac in 2007. The former world champion for duathlon in 2000 is a time trial specialist. Aged 49, she showed her good form against the clock on Thursday as she took the silver medal at the time trial championships behind Wiggle High5’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot, while Elise Delzenne of Lotto-Soudal was third.

Delzenne was alone again in the road race with an obvious chance of winning like in 2013 as she smartly rode away before the final two laps with 34km to go. The rain and the ascent of the difficult côte des 4 sapins (the four pine trees hill) had taken their toll. But Delzenne had a mechanical up the hill after she crossed the line with an advantage of 38 seconds over lone chaser Marjolaine Bazin of the Poitou-Charentes region, while the main chasing peloton led by Pitel ahead of race favourites Pauline Ferrand-Prévot of Rabo Liv and Cordon-Ragot was at 1:50.

It took almost a minute for Delzenne to get a back wheel change from the neutral service. Bazin had passed her when she sustained a second mechanical and needed a new front wheel. A new race started with Bazin still at the front with one lap to go (13km), followed by Aude Biannic (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86) at 22 seconds, Pitel at 39 seconds.

The Ferrand-Prévot group was less than a minute behind but mouths rather than legs were doing the talking. The lack of cooperation played in favour of Pitel, who overtook Biannic and then Bazin with 7km to go to carry on and claim a solo win, while Bazin was delighted to finish second and Cordon-Ragot had to be content with third.

Fourth-placed Ferrand-Prévot expressed her mixed feelings after the finish. “It was a very tactical race," said the 2014 road race world champion who hadn’t taken part in a road race since the Dwars door Westhoek two months ago (21st) due to a sciatica.

“I’m happy to have made the main group. I didn’t have the legs at all. I’ve done the best I could. I really lack the intensity of racing. I also need to lose 2kg before the Olympics.”

French women cycling remains accessible to older athletes at the highest level. Jeannie Longo, who still races at the age of 57 and finished 13th at the French championship for time trial on Thursday had taken her last road title in 2008 at 49, the same age as Pitel now.

“I came here to train before the race and I knew I’d hold out well up the hill.” Pitel is reserved in the French national team for the Rio Games.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Edwige Pitel (Fra) S.C. Michela Fanini3:06:11
2Marjolaine Bazin (Fra)0:00:17
3Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle High50:00:34
4Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
5Elise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies
6Aude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
7Marion Sicot (Fra)
8Fanny Leleu (Fra)
9Lena Gerault (Fra)0:00:37
10Amélie Rivat (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.860:02:03
11Victorie Guilman (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
12Séverine Eraud (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.860:02:40
13Cyriane Muller (Fra)
14Melodie Lesueur (Fra)
15Charlotte Bravard (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
16Fanny Zambon (Fra)0:05:57
17Lucie Lahaye (Fra)0:09:19
18Aurélia Perry (Fra)0:12:23
19Annie Thomas (Fra)
20Magdalena De Saint (Fra)
21Thérésa Hoebanckx (Fra)0:14:03
22Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)0:14:05
23Sylvie Riedle (Fra)
24Anabelle Dreville (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.860:14:10
25Coralie Demay (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
26Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
27Greta Richioud (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
28Aodez Le Fourn (Fra)
29Eugénie Duval (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
30Cécilia Le Bris (Fra)0:16:11
31Jennifer Mark (Fra)0:17:04
32Pauline Allin (Fra)
33Sophie Almeida (Fra)
34Morgane Coston (Fra)
35Bérengère Staelens (Fra)0:18:50
36Fanny Riberot (Fra) Astana Pro Team
37Amélie Hild (Fra)
38Soline Lamboley (Fra)
39Gabrielle Rimasson (Fra)
40Marion Bessone (Fra)
41Noémie Dumas (Fra)
42Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Lointek
43Astrid Chazal (Fra)
44Esther Eustache (Fra)
45Manon Testou (Fra)
46Gaëlle Carreau (Fra)
47Sandrine Polizzi (Fra)
48Emilie Jamme (Fra)
49Elodie Dusart (Fra)
50Coralie Houdin (Fra)
51Pascaline Duchesne (Fra)
52Loriane Ceyssat (Fra)
53Noeline Delbove (Fra)
54Solenne Billouin (Fra)0:23:30
55Mélanie Guedon (Fra)
56Alessia Bugeia (Fra)
57Tatiana Blin (Fra)
58Vicky Fournial (Fra)
59Alna Burato (Fra)
DNFOceane Tessier (Fra)
DNFEmeline Azam (Fra)
DNFMarie Comet (Fra)
DNFOphélie Fenart (Fra)
DNFAudrey Gascon (Fra)
DNFLudivine Emile Loze (Fra)
DNFManon Souyris (Fra)
DNFLisa Huber (Fra)
DNFClémence Jolly (Fra)
DNFMarine Lemarie (Fra)
DNFPascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFPerrine Clauzel (Fra)
DNFOcéanne Philibert (Fra)
DNFHélène Gérard (Fra)
DNFFanny Le Huitouze (Fra)
DNFEléonore Saraiva (Fra)
DNFSandrine Bideau (Fra)
DNFEmilie Rochedy (Fra)

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