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Demare beats Bouhanni to French road race title

Arnaud Demare (FDJ) on the stage 1 podium at Paris-Nice

Arnaud Demare (FDJ) on the stage 1 podium at Paris-Nice (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Top favourite Arnaud Démare (FDJ) won the French national championships road race in Saint-Omer (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) on Sunday afternoon. Démare won the sprint in a small peloton, holding off Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Jérémy Leveau (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) was third at long distance.

It's the second time 25-year-old Démare gets to wear the blue-blanc-rouge, after winning in Futuroscope in 2014. He takes over the jersey from teammate Arthur Vichot.

"We have a super team. We went 100 per cent for me today. I was very good and the team was strong. I'm super happy. [...] One doesn't get used to wearing this jersey. It'll be a different experience compared to the first time. I was very young in 2014," Démare said in the post-race flash interview.

The man next to him - Nacer Bouhanni - was less excited, two months after his crash in the Tour of Yorkshire. Before crossing the line, Bouhanni was making gestures to point out that he didn't like the way Démare sprinted.

"He moved twice. He didn't hold his line in the final metres. I was relegated for a few centimetres in Hamburg. I'm disappointed. I'd loved to have won," Bouhanni said in his post-race flash interview. Démare did move but the jury felt it wasn't enough to relegate him.

The French peloton faced a battle of 248 kilometres on a 15.5 kilometres long course, with the wind and two climbs featuring on each of the sixteen laps. A large group of fourteen riders formed the breakaway of the day but the FDJ-led peloton didn't offer them a lot of ground. Thomas Rostollan (Armée de Terre) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) were the strongest men in front, dropping them on the climb. Meanwhile, another chase group was formed. Eight riders from this group bridged up with the two leaders when passing the Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery. At 40 kilometres from the finish, the peloton was a minute down on the ten leaders.

Further attacks on the climbs in front and in the peloton created a further selection. A first selection left Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie), Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Flavien Dassonville (HP BTP - Auber 93) in front. Later, Florian Vachon and Thomas Boudat were joined by Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Yoann Offredo (WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect) on the last climb in the penultimate lap. The five leaders had a bonus of half a minute on the first peloton of 35 riders with all the best sprinters still there.

The final lap would decide if the peloton would get back on the leaders and which sprinters would survive the climbs. Julien Antomarchi (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) made a big move. After the first climb, he closed the gap with the five leaders, battling the crosswinds. On the second climb, he continued his effort and dropped the others. In the peloton, the Fortuneo-riders tried to disturb the build-up for the sprint. A small peloton of only twenty riders survived the climb, without Direct Energie-sprinters Bryan Coquard and Adrien Petit, but with Démare and Bouhanni.

At three kilometres from the finish Antomarchi was caught back by the FDJ-train. Mickaël Delage led out the sprint for Démare, who started the tailwind sprint. Bouhanni was glued on his wheel but failed to get out it. Jérémy Leveau (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) was best of the rest at two seconds, joining the two top sprinters on the podium.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ5:54:22
2Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
3Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole0:00:02
4Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
5Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
7Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10Fabien Touze (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93
11Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
12Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
13Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
14Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:05
15Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:00:08
17Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
18Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
19Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:11
20Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole
21David Menut (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:00:23
22Erwann Corbel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
23Steven Tronet (Fra) Armee de Terre
24Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93
25Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
26Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
27Jimmy Raibaud (Fra) Armee de Terre
28Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
29Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:00:28
30Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93
31Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:29
32Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
33Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:38
34Jeremy Bescond (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:01:05
35Yannis Yssaad (Fra) Armee de Terre
36Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:46
37Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:48
38Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison Genesis0:01:51
39Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
40Pierre Moncorgé (Fra) MPC
41Yannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
42Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie
43Félix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole
44Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
45Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
46Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
47Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
48Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
49Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:58
50Brian Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie
51Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
52Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
53Jérémy Maison (Fra) FDJ
54Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
55Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:09
56Nicolas Baldo (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:03:10
57Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:03:46
58Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:03:53
59Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
60Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
61Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
62François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
63Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
64Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ0:04:18
65Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
66Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ
67Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
69Flavien Dassonville (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93
70Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:04:40
71Kevin Lebreton (Fra) Armee de Terre
72Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:07
73Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
74Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
75Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:20
76Pierre Gouault (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 93
77Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie
78Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
79Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
80Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
81Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
82Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
83Romain Feillu (Fra) HP BTP - Auber 930:07:24
84Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
85Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
86Fabien Canal (Fra) Armee de Terre
87Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Armee de Terre
88Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
89Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
90Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
91Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
92Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
93Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
94Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Armee de Terre
95Jordan Levasseur (Fra) Armee de Terre0:07:43
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) FDJ
DNFDavid Gaudu (Fra) FDJ
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
DNFCedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ
DNFMarc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
DNFBenoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) FDJ
DNFLilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFRomain Guillemois (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFNicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFBryan Alaphilippe (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFRomain Campistrous (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFThibault Ferasse (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFYann Guyot (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFJulien Loubet (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFJerome Mainard (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFThomas Rostollan (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFBenjamin Thomas (Fra) Armee de Terre
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFChristophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFBenjamin Giraud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJeremy Cabot (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole
DNFDylan Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix - Lille Metropole
DNFQuentin Valognes (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFCorentin Cherhal (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFRomain Gioux (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFJulien Amadori (Fra) Interpro Cycling Academy
DNFFlorian Hudry (Fra) Interpro Cycling Academy
DNFGuillaume Levarlet (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFMaxime Gressier (Fra) Development Team Sunweb
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Team Wiggins


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