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Anthony Roux rules France

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Anthony Roux celebrates his victory

Anthony Roux celebrates his victory (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) won the French championship

Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) won the French championship (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) won the French championship

Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) won the French championship (Image credit: Getty Images)

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

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ6:04:53
2Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
4Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
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-Samsic
10Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
11Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
13Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:46
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:50
15Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Damien Touze (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
17Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
18Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
19Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
20Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
21Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
22Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
23Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:00:53
24Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
25Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
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 Energie
32Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
33Jérémy Maison (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
34Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
35Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
36Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
37Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:18
38Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:47
39Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
40Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:04:49
41Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:04:51
42Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
43Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:06:18
44Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:00
45François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
46Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:12
47Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:08:55
48Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
49Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie
50Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
51Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
52Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
53Lucas De Rossi (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
54Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
56Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
57Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
58Yoann Bagot (Fra) Vital Concept Club
59Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
60Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
61Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
62Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
63Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
64Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
65Camille Thominet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
66Flavien Maurelet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
67Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:10:00
69Pierre Gouault (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:17:19
70Thomas Joly (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
71Christophe Masson (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFBruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFDavid Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFMarc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFBenoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFRomain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFAxel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFBryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFPerrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFRudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFClement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFBrice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFArmindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFRomain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFAmael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFClement Russo (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFHugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFMathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFErwann Corbel (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFAdrien Garel (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFJérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFJustin Mottier (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFKevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFPierre Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFJeremy Cabot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFPierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFMorgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFSamuel Leroux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFNicolas Baldo (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
DNFRomain Feillu (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
DNFAnthony Maldonado (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
DNFYoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
DNFRomain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJulien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFYannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJulien Trarieux (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJulien Amadori (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'Azur
DNFHugo Bouguet (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'Azur
DNFStéphane Cognet (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'Azur
DNFJérôme Pulidori (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'Azur
DNFThomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Project Nice Cote d'Azur
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
DNFJustin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFPierre Moncorgé (Fra) Memil Ccn Pro Cycling
DNFYannis Yssaad (Fra) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFFlorian Hudry (Fra) Interpro Stradalli Cycling
DNFCyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
DNFMatthieu Jeannes (Fra) Probaclac/Devinci
DNFFlorian Deriaux (Fra) Sovac-Natura4Ever
DNFCorentin Navarro (Fra) Team Wiggins
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNSFloryan Arnoult (Fra) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896

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