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Benjamin Thomas wins French men's time trial title

Tirreno Adriatico 2021 - 79th Edition - 7th stage San Benedetto del Tronto - San Benedetto del Tronto 10,1 km - 16/03/2021 - Benjamin Thomas (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Groupama-FDJ took all the spots on the podium in the men's time trial at the French championship for the first time with Benjamin Thomas leading home Bruno Armirail and Alexys Brunel for the medals. But the biggest surprise came from defending champion Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) who crossed the line with the 23rd best time and a deficit of five minutes on the 45.6km course in Epinal.

“It’s a huge satisfaction,” Thomas said. “I lost my jersey by a very small margin last year. I didn’t prepare specifically as much as last year, but I came out of a very high-level Tour de Suisse where I produced long efforts. So I was confident in my condition ahead of this time trial. The whole top three is a reward to the team that invests in research and development. They put us in the best situation to perform. I’ve been here since Sunday evening to favour my recovery after the Tour de Suisse.”

At the first checkpoint (11.5km), Thomas led over Cavagna by only two seconds but the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” was later hampered by a mechanical and was forced to change bikes. Therefore, his deficit at the second checkpoint (30.6km) was 1:51 and opted to save his energy for Sunday’s road race instead. He’s set to be a helper for Julian Alaphilippe along with Florian Sénéchal against the collective strength of Groupama-FDJ, despite the absence of a still injured Thibaut Pinot.

“I focused on my own race, not on Rémi’s,” Thomas explained.

“I started strongly and I struggled at halfway but I had info about Bruno [Armirail] so I could finish it off without blowing. This result takes the pressure off before the road race but we’ve been up there for years and we hope to win again.”

It’s the fourth national title in the individual time trial for the squad directed by Marc Madiot since 1997 as Benoît Vaugrenard (2007) and Pinot (2016) preceded Thomas in the record books. They have claimed seven titles in the past nine editions of the French championship for road racing (with Nacer Bouhanni in 2012, Arthur Vichot in 2013 and 2016, Arnaud Démare in 2014, 2017 and 2020, Anthony Roux in 2018) but they never took all top three places before today.

“It feels great but it was unexpected,” Madiot told Cyclingnews

“I also enjoyed following Clément Davy who is an up-and-coming time trialist and finished sixth.” 

Like Madiot, Davy hails from the Mayenne province where the first time trial of the Tour de France will be held on stage 5, but there won’t be a Groupama-FDJ blue, white, and red jersey on the roads on June 30 as Thomas, who is also the reigning world champion for the omnium, will be busy preparing for the track at the Tokyo Olympics.

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:55:16
2Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:31
3Alexys Brunel (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:55
4Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:01:10
5Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:31
6Clément Davy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:02:01
7Jeremy Cabot (Fra) Total Direct Energie
8Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis 0:02:05
9Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93 0:02:24
10Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:43
11Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:02:52
12Kévin Vauquelin (Fra) 0:03:03
13Clément Carisey (Fra) Delko 0:03:29
14Clément Berthet (Fra) Delko 0:03:34
15Thomas Delphis (Fra) 0:04:00
16Corentin Ermenault (Fra) 0:04:07
17Julian Lino (Fra) 0:04:09
18Matis Louvel (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
19Romain Bacon (Fra) 0:04:13
20Yoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93 0:04:14
21Enzo Paleni (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:47
22Louis Pijourlet (Fra) 0:04:51
23Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:05:01
24Johan Le Bon (Fra) 0:05:03
25Hugo Toumire (Fra) 0:05:04
26Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:05:07
27Guillaume Dauschy (Fra) 0:05:20
28Louis Richard (Fra) 0:05:36
29Julien Souton (Fra) 0:05:41
30Axel Laurance (Fra) 0:06:00
31Damien Poisson (Fra) 0:06:04
32Tao Quemere (Fra) 0:06:10
33Celestin Guillon (Fra) 0:06:16
34Clément Jolibert (Fra) 0:06:26
35Alan Boileau (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
36Alexis Guerin (Fra) Team Vorarlberg 0:06:27
37Emile Blondel Hermant (Fra) 0:06:45
38Benjamin Marais (Fra)
39Simon Verger (Fra) 0:06:53
40Tommy Pouget (Fra) 0:07:05
41Louis Louvet (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93 0:07:10
42Brendan Le Cam (Fra) 0:07:22
43Antonin Heron (Fra) 0:07:23
44Clément Petit (Fra) 0:07:29
45Thomas Joly (Fra) 0:07:39
46Nicolas Hamon (Fra) 0:07:40
47Léandre Huck (Fra) 0:07:46
48Mickaël Guichard (Fra) 0:08:06
49Loris Trastour (Fra) 0:08:14
50Antoine Poletto (Fra) 0:08:16
51Sébastien Havot (Fra) 0:08:17
52Hugo Jot (Fra) 0:08:23
53Clément Delcros (Fra) 0:08:26
54Lomig Le Clec'H (Fra) 0:08:28
55Jérémy Patoux (Fra) 0:08:45
56Maxime Dransart (Fra) 0:08:48
57Simon Combes (Fra) 0:09:00
58Adrien Garel (Fra) 0:09:08
59Colin Jacquemin (Fra) 0:09:17
60Maël Savignard (Fra)
61Enzo Anti (Fra) 0:09:25
62Maximilien Provost (Fra) 0:09:35
63Thibaut Madorre (Fra) 0:09:37
64Geoffrey Thevenez (Fra) 0:09:41
65Amaury Pacouret (Fra) 0:09:49
66Antoine Prunet (Fra) 0:10:15
67Max Warmerdam (Fra) 0:10:16
68Adrien Maire (Fra) 0:10:18
69Clément Rozes (Fra) 0:10:22
70Boris Carene (Fra) 0:10:28
71Yann Plusquellec (Fra) 0:10:31
72Hugo Thirotel (Fra) 0:10:33
73Aurélien Costeplane (Fra) 0:10:35
74Simon Millon (Fra) 0:10:46
75Mathieu Urbain (Fra) 0:10:59
76Pierre Lebreton (Fra) 0:11:05
77Rémy Bathiard (Fra) 0:11:10
78Louis Coqueret (Fra) Leopard Pro Cycling 0:11:19
79Justin Ducret (Fra) 0:11:55
80Vincent Arhie (Fra) 0:12:30
81Cédric Enguehard (Fra) 0:18:29
82Quentin Bezza (Fra) 0:19:30
DNFLilian Langella (Fra)

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