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Meersman wins Tour de l'Ain prologue

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the podium

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

On a day when Omega Pharma-Quickstep took over the lead of the Eneco Tour and won the stage with Zdenek Stybar, it continued that success across the French border when Gianni Meersman led the team to a four-man sweep of the top spots in the prologue of Tour de l'Ain.

Meersman blasted around the 4.6km course in St. Amour to repeat his opening victory of 2013, this time followed closely by teammates Julian Alaphilippe, Pieter Serry and Rigoberto Uran in close succession. Cofidis's Jerome Coppel was the best of the rest.

"I am really happy because this morning I thought about this exact result," Meersman said. "I thought about how I won this stage last year and, why not, I can try to win it again. A time trial is a fight against yourself. It's a question of how deep you want to go."

Meersman was perhaps buoyed by his recent performance in the Tour de Wallonie, where he finished second in four stages before finally taking the stage victory and overall win on the final day.

While last year, Meersman clocked a 5:31 for a 3.3km course, this year the stage was much faster, and it only took 5:22 to complete a course 1300m longer.

"The course was different from last year in that it was not so technical, but the last 500 meters were uphill. I think that section is where I won the race."

The secret to the team's success was a morning reconnaissance of the course, where the team trained for two hours on the time trial bikes and did five laps of the course. Having the top of the leader board stacked with teammates also opens up options for tactics in the coming stages.

"We're here with six strong guys," Meersman said. "Tomorrow we will try to defend my leader's jersey. It won't be easy with six riders instead of eight, but that's the same problem for everybody in the peloton. We'll do our best to figure out how to defend my leadership in the best way possible."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:05:22.52
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:01.64
3Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:03.29
4Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:03.35
5Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:04.90
6Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:04.99
7Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:06.04
8Timo Roosen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:07.02
9Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:08.46
10Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp0:00:08.58
11Julien Loubet (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:11.26
12Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:11.23
13Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:11.56
14Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:12.17
15Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:12.44
16Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:13.35
17Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:13.39
18Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:13.58
19Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal (Col) Colombia0:00:13.69
20Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:13.91
21Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:14.00
22Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:14.91
23Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:15.67
24Grégoire Tarride (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:15.97
25Sam Oomen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:16.15
26Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:16.20
27Derk Abel Beckeringh (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:16.22
28Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp0:00:16.27
29Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:16.31
30Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:16.38
31Benoît Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:16.71
32Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:17.10
33Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:17.25
34Dylan Girdlestone (RSA) Garmin Sharp0:00:17.55
35Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:17.56
36Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:17.59
37Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:17.82
38Jérémy Cornu (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:18.62
39Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:18.64
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:18.90
41Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:19.12
42Jérôme Mainard (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:19.17
43Alo Jakin (Est) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:20.06
44Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar0:00:20.23
45Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:21.34
46Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:21.38
47Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia0:00:21.87
48Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:22.01
49Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:22.18
50Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:22.42
51Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:22.53
52Julien El Fares (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:23.15
53Edward Fabian Diaz Cardenas (Col) Colombia0:00:23.24
54Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:23.31
55Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:23.63
56Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:23.88
57André Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp0:00:24.43
58Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
59Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:24.85
60Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia0:00:25.62
61Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:25.77
62Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
63Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:25.81
64Frédéric Brun (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:26.11
65Alexis Dulin (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:26.27
66Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:26.99
67Steven Tronet (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:27.07
68Roman Semyonov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:27.09
69Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:27.67
70Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:27.71
71Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:28.21
72Rémi Di Gregorio (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:28.95
73Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:28.99
74Pierre Gouault (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:29.35
75Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:29.43
76Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:29.57
77Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:29.80
78Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia0:00:30.17
79Viktor Okishev (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:30.30
80Pavel Gatskiy (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:30.64
81Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp0:00:30.92
82Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:30.96
83Jaume Rovira Pous (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:31.29
84Dan Craven (Nam) Team Europcar0:00:32.62
85Higinio Fernandez (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:33.52
86Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp0:00:34.41
87Jonathan Parades Hernandez (Col) Colombia0:00:34.95
88Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:36.52
89Jean-Lou Païani (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:37.48
90Antoine Lavieu (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:39.90
91Jérôme Gilbert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:44.89
92Segundo Navarrete (Ecu) Team Ecuador0:00:45.57
93Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:49.08
94Maxime Renault (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:51.78
95Isaac Carbonell Rabat (Spa) Team Ecuador0:01:03.20
96Galym Akhmetov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:01:09.13

General classification after prologue
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:05:22
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:02
3Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:03
4Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
5Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:05
6Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement
7Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:06
8Timo Roosen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:07
9Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:08
10Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp0:00:09
11Julien Loubet (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:11
12Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
13Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:12
14Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 93
15Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:13
17Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
18Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:14
19Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal (Col) Colombia
20Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
21Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) Equipe de France
22Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:15
23Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:16
24Grégoire Tarride (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13
25Sam Oomen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
26Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
27Derk Abel Beckeringh (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
28Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp
29Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) C.T. Astana
30Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
31Benoît Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:17
32Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13
33Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe de France
34Dylan Girdlestone (RSA) Garmin Sharp0:00:18
35Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
36Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr
37Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Equipe de France
38Jérémy Cornu (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:19
39Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
40Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
41Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
42Jérôme Mainard (Fra) Equipe de France
43Alo Jakin (Est) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:20
44Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar
45Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:21
46Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
47Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia0:00:22
48Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement
49Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
50Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
51Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:23
52Julien El Fares (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13
53Edward Fabian Diaz Cardenas (Col) Colombia
54Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr
55Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:24
56Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Ecuador
57André Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp
58Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
59Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:25
60Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia0:00:26
61Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement
62Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
63Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team Europcar
64Frédéric Brun (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 93
65Alexis Dulin (Fra) Equipe de France
66Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:27
67Steven Tronet (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 93
68Roman Semyonov (Kaz) C.T. Astana
69Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:28
70Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.fr
71Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement
72Rémi Di Gregorio (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:29
73Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13
74Pierre Gouault (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 93
75Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
76Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:30
77Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
78Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia
79Viktor Okishev (Kaz) C.T. Astana
80Pavel Gatskiy (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:31
81Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp
82Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
83Jaume Rovira Pous (Spa) Team Ecuador
84Dan Craven (Nam) Team Europcar0:00:33
85Higinio Fernandez (Spa) Team Ecuador0:00:34
86Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp
87Jonathan Parades Hernandez (Col) Colombia0:00:35
88Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:37
89Jean-Lou Païani (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:38
90Antoine Lavieu (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:40
91Jérôme Gilbert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:45
92Segundo Navarrete (Ecu) Team Ecuador0:00:46
93Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:49
94Maxime Renault (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:52
95Isaac Carbonell Rabat (Spa) Team Ecuador0:01:03
96Galym Akhmetov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:01:09

Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team15pts
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team12
3Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team10
4Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team8
5Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits6
6Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne - Séché Environnement5
7Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Rabobank Development Team4
8Timo Roosen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team3
9Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team2
10Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp1

Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:05:24
2Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:04
3Timo Roosen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:05
4Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:11
5Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:12
6Artur Fedosseyev (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:14
7Sam Oomen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
8Derk Abel Beckeringh (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
9Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:15
10Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:16
11Mike Teunissen (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:21
12Edward Fabian Diaz Cardenas (Col) Colombia
13Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:00:23
14Alexis Dulin (Fra) Equipe de France0:00:24
15Roman Semyonov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:25
16Pierre Gouault (Fra) Bigmat - Auber 930:00:27
17Viktor Okishev (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:00:28
18Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp0:00:29
19Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:35
20Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:47
21Isaac Carbonell Rabat (Spa) Team Ecuador0:01:01
22Galym Akhmetov (Kaz) C.T. Astana0:01:07

Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omega Pharma - Quick-Step C.T.0:16:11
2Rabobank Development Team0:00:24
3Cofidis Solutions Crédit0:00:28
4Bretagne - Séché Environnement0:00:29
5Equipe de France0:00:37
6Garmin - Sharp0:00:38
7Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:40
8Team Europcar0:00:42
9AG2R la Mondiale
10Team La Pomme Marseille 130:00:51
11Bigmat - Auber 930:00:53
12Colombia0:00:54
13C.T. Astana
14FDJ.fr0:01:04
15Roubaix Lille Métropole0:01:05
16Team Ecuador0:01:14

 

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