Bouhanni victorious at Tour de Vendée

It was a thrilling finale at the Tour de Vendée with Europcar in contention for both the home soil victory plus overall French Cup classification for 21-year-old sprinter Bryan Coquard who was leading after 15 legs. No Frenchman had won the Tour de Vendée since Franck Bouyer in 2002 but Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ.fr emerged as a winner of a bunch sprint for the ninth time this year, followed by Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) who claimed the overall French Cup trophy for the second year in a row.

"I didn't care about the French Cup, we were here for winning the race," Bouhanni told Cyclingnews. "My teammate Laurent Pichon opened the sprint for me with 300 metres to go and he gave way to me at 150. The team has done a superb job. I only had to finish it off.

"We were racing for a bunch sprint finish. It's a nice victory. There aren't small races in professional cycling. I enjoy winning towards the end of the season because I've had up and downs this year with crashing at Paris-Nice and getting sick at the Tour de France, but it's not over yet. This is my ninth victory. I'd like to make it 10 at the Tour of Beijing."

FDJ.fr had already secured the overall team victory for the French Cup but runner-up on the individual classification Anthony Geslin had a chance to beat Coquard for the overall title. "I wasn't dreaming too much," Geslin said. "With sprinters like Nacer and Arnaud [Démare] for the last races of the season, we had other priorities than the French Cup. Winning races is still better."

That was also Europcar's point of view. "We said before the race that we'd be here for winning the Tour de Vendée," Coquard said. "But we panicked in the sprint. Kevin [Reza] led me out at 400 metres to go and I was at the front 250 metres before the line. The finish being uphill, it was too hard.

"I had good legs all day and we didn't have to ride behind the breakaway [formed by RusVelo's Pavel Kochetkov, Bretagne-Séché's Pierre-Luc Perrichon and Androni's Francesco Reda who were caught with 12km to go]. Unfortunately, we've also lost the French Cup but we'll learn from our mistakes. Sprinting is something new at Europcar. It's only the first year."

"It's pretty incredible that I end up winning the French Cup again," said Dumoulin who finished second on the day while Coquard only crossed the line in sixth place. "I wasn't extremely focused on that goal but I scored points here and there. Probably at the GP of Isbergues, when I put my wheel ahead of Coquard's, I took the two points that made the difference today.

"I wasn't sure of my form, so I observed the war of nerves between FDJ and Europcar and we took care of the chase. Nacer was above everyone in the sprint. I couldn't do better. I'm proud of what we've achieved. This trophy has great value in French cycling."

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Full Results
1Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr4:37:52
2Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Steven Tronet (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93Row 2 - Cell 2
4Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.frRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 4 - Cell 2
6Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 5 - Cell 2
7Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme MarseilleRow 6 - Cell 2
8Julien Simon (Fra) SojasunRow 7 - Cell 2
9Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 8 - Cell 2
10Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 10 - Cell 2
12Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 11 - Cell 2
13Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-EuphonyRow 12 - Cell 2
14Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 13 - Cell 2
15Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 14 - Cell 2
16Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.frRow 15 - Cell 2
17Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 16 - Cell 2
18Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 17 - Cell 2
19Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Igor Boev (Rus) RusVeloRow 19 - Cell 2
21Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 20 - Cell 2
22Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVeloRow 21 - Cell 2
23Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 23 - Cell 2
25Mathieu Drujon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93Row 24 - Cell 2
26Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jonathan Hivert (Fra) SojasunRow 26 - Cell 2
28Antonino Casimiro Parrinello (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 27 - Cell 2
29Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93Row 28 - Cell 2
30Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 29 - Cell 2
31Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Sergei Pomoshnikov (Rus) RusVeloRow 31 - Cell 2
33Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 32 - Cell 2
34Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement0:00:10
35Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93Row 34 - Cell 2
36Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:12
37Philip Lavery (Irl) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Alexandre Billon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93Row 37 - Cell 2
39Ibai Salas Zorrozua (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:15
40Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:17
41Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:19
42Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 41 - Cell 2
43Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 42 - Cell 2
44Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 43 - Cell 2
45Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 44 - Cell 2
46Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:21
47David Le Lay (Fra) Sojasun0:00:23
48Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) SojasunRow 47 - Cell 2
49Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 48 - Cell 2
50Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 49 - Cell 2
51Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:26
52Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme MarseilleRow 51 - Cell 2
53Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:28
54Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:29
55Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:32
56Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:34
57Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:37
58Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 57 - Cell 2
59Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 58 - Cell 2
60Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:00:45
62Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:47
63Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:52
65Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) RusVelo0:00:55
66Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:03
67Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:09
68Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:20
69Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.frRow 68 - Cell 2
70Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:29
71Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:50
72Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) RusVelo0:01:54
73Romain Bacon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 930:01:56
74Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 73 - Cell 2
75Alexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVeloRow 74 - Cell 2
76Thomas Rostollan (Fra) La Pomme MarseilleRow 75 - Cell 2
77Christophe Laborie (Fra) SojasunRow 76 - Cell 2
78Yoann Paillot (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:03:58
79José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme MarseilleRow 78 - Cell 2
80Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 79 - Cell 2
81Jérémy Bescond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 80 - Cell 2
82Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille MetropoleRow 81 - Cell 2
83Brice Feillu (Fra) SojasunRow 82 - Cell 2
84Gennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) RusVeloRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 84 - Cell 2
86Hendrik Kruger (RSA) La Pomme MarseilleRow 85 - Cell 2
87Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 86 - Cell 2
88Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 87 - Cell 2
89Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:04
90Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:40
91Etienne Tortelier (Fra) SojasunRow 90 - Cell 2
92Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 92 - Cell 2
94Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 93 - Cell 2
95Frédéric Brun (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2

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