Anthony Roux rules France

Anthony Roux (FDJ) came out on top in a thrilling race at the French national championships with powerful sprint to hold off Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step  Floors). FDJ used their numbers in the finale perfectly to set up the win. With the line in sight Turgis opened up his sprint but Roux had enough in the tank to come back on terms and then take the win by a comfortable distance.

The win marked Roux's first French champion title as he won a six-man sprint in Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris.

"I can't believe it," Roux said. "For so many years, I've been close to winning, also in the time trial [4th on Thursday]. I made the podium twice and once I was disqualified [for causing the crash of Nacer Bouhanni [in 2015]. I was afraid that I was not able to target the victory any more. I didn't think the course would suit me. But the race went to perfection. I did everything to perform here after the Giro. Hadn't Alaphilippe come across, Rudy Molard would have been the French champion. I wasn't confident to beat Alaphilippe. When Turgis forced me to sprint from far out, it helped me to have a 56 gear at the front. We don't become French championz by coincidence. It's great to keep the title in the team."

Founded in 1997 by the Madiot brothers who were themselves French champions in 1986 (Yvon) and 1987 (Marc), the FDJ team took the title only once in fifteen years, with Nicolas Vogondy in 2002. Roux keeps the winning streak that started with Nacer Bouhanni in 2012, followed by Arthur Vichot in 2013 (and again in 2016) and Arnaud Démare in 2014 (and again in 2017), and was only interrupted by the victory of continental rider Steven Tronet for Auber 93 in 2015.

Now renamed Groupama-FDJ, they kept the race under their control from start to finish, first pulling behind early attackers Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Maxime Daniel (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Marc Fournier (Vital Concept). Secondly, they had six riders in the 31-man front group that was formed after 50km of racing, including up and coming climber David Gaudu, who is the replacement for Thibaut Pinot as the team's climber at the Tour de France next week. The other French WorldTour team AG2R-La Mondiale was also represented by six riders while all eyes were on defending champion Arnaud Démare who was again the hot favourite as it could have been another sprint finish, even in a reduced bunch. But the heat took its toll.

Groupama-FDJ kept Démare's hopes alive as they maintained the gap at around three minutes. They outnumbered their rivals after half way when the front group split. Gaudu, Valentin Madouas, Romain Seigle and Benjamin Thomas upped the tempo while their teammates stopped pacing the peloton.

Rémi Cavagna (Quick Step Floors) was the first to bridge the gap from the peloton to the escapees with 50km to go. Counter attacks kept going after that. Successively, it brought the likes of Roux, Vichot, Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale) into contention for the blue-white-red jersey.

Molard rode away with Jimmy Turgis (Cofidis) and Johan Le Bon (Vital Concept) but a strong attack from the bunch was launched by Alaphilippe and the other Turgis [Anthony] from Cofidis. Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) also came from behind.

There were eventually were six to contest the title: Molard, Roux, Turgis, Martin, Latour and Alaphilippe. Groupama-FDJ were the only team with two riders after Vichot cramped with 6km to go, and Molard sacrificed himself for Roux who won from a very long sprint that he launched 300 metres before the line. The jersey remains in the same camp but Roux isn't part of the Tour de France team.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ6:04:53
2Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 1 - Cell 2
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 2 - Cell 2
4Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:00:06
6Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:09
7Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:00:23
8Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:34
9Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 8 - Cell 2
10Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 9 - Cell 2
11Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 10 - Cell 2
12Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 11 - Cell 2
13Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:46
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:50
15Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 14 - Cell 2
16Damien Touze (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 15 - Cell 2
17Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 17 - Cell 2
19Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 18 - Cell 2
20Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 19 - Cell 2
21Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 20 - Cell 2
22Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 21 - Cell 2
23Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:00:53
24Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 23 - Cell 2
25Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 24 - Cell 2
26Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:00:57
27Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:00:58
28Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:25
29Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:01
30Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:05
31Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 30 - Cell 2
32Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jérémy Maison (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 32 - Cell 2
34Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 33 - Cell 2
35Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 34 - Cell 2
36Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 35 - Cell 2
37Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:18
38Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:47
39Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 38 - Cell 2
40Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:04:49
41Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:04:51
42Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 41 - Cell 2
43Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:06:18
44Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:00
45François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 44 - Cell 2
46Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:12
47Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:08:55
48Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 47 - Cell 2
49Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 48 - Cell 2
50Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 49 - Cell 2
51Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 50 - Cell 2
52Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 51 - Cell 2
53Lucas De Rossi (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 52 - Cell 2
54Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 56 - Cell 2
58Yoann Bagot (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 57 - Cell 2
59Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 58 - Cell 2
60Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 59 - Cell 2
61Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 60 - Cell 2
62Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 61 - Cell 2
63Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 62 - Cell 2
64Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 63 - Cell 2
65Camille Thominet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 64 - Cell 2
66Flavien Maurelet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 65 - Cell 2
67Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:10:00
69Pierre Gouault (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:17:19
70Thomas Joly (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 69 - Cell 2
71Christophe Masson (Fra) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFBruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFBenoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Cardis (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFJeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFAxel Journiaux (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFBryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFPerrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFRudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFClement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFBrice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFArmindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFAmael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFClement Russo (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFHugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFMathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFErwann Corbel (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFAdrien Garel (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFJérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFJustin Mottier (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFPierre Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFJeremy Cabot (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFPierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFMorgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Leroux (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFNicolas Baldo (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 123 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Feillu (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 124 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Maldonado (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 125 - Cell 2
DNFYoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 126 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFJulien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFYannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Trarieux (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Amadori (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'AzurRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFHugo Bouguet (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'AzurRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFStéphane Cognet (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'AzurRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFJérôme Pulidori (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'AzurRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'AzurRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFJustin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFPierre Moncorgé (Fra) Memil Ccn Pro CyclingRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFYannis Yssaad (Fra) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 140 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Hudry (Fra) Interpro Stradalli CyclingRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFMatthieu Jeannes (Fra) Probaclac/DevinciRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Deriaux (Fra) Sovac-Natura4EverRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFCorentin Navarro (Fra) Team WigginsRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 146 - Cell 2
DNSFloryan Arnoult (Fra) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 147 - Cell 2

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