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Bouhanni victorious at Tour de Vendée

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Tour de Vendée podium (L-R): Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93)

Tour de Vendée podium (L-R): Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Steven Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93) (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Bryan Coquard (Europcar) talks to the press following the Tour de Vendée

Bryan Coquard (Europcar) talks to the press following the Tour de Vendée (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) won the French Cup series for 2013

Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) won the French Cup series for 2013 (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Overall French Cup winners: Bryan Coquard, left, best young rider and Samuel Dumoulin, overall champion

Overall French Cup winners: Bryan Coquard, left, best young rider and Samuel Dumoulin, overall champion (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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FDJ won the team prize for the French Cup series

FDJ won the team prize for the French Cup series (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)

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 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." 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."

Full Results
1Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr4:37:52
2Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
3Steven Tronet (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
4Laurent Pichon (Fra)
5Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
7Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
9Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
10Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
11Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
12Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
13Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony
14Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
15Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Anthony Geslin (Fra)
17Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
18Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
19Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
20Igor Boev (Rus) RusVelo
21Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
22Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo
23Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
24Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
25Mathieu Drujon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
26Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
27Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
28Antonino Casimiro Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
29Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
30Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
31Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
32Sergei Pomoshnikov (Rus) RusVelo
33Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
34Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement0:00:10
35Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
36Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:12
37Philip Lavery (Irl) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
38Alexandre Billon (Fra) BigMat-Auber 93
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 Metropole
43Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
44Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
45Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
46Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:21
47David Le Lay (Fra) Sojasun0:00:23
48Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun
49Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
50Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Accent Jobs-Wanty
51Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:00:26
52Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
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-Euphony
59Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
60Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
61Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:00:45
62Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:47
63Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
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)
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 RGA
75Alexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVelo
76Thomas Rostollan (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
77Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun
78Yoann Paillot (Fra) La Pomme Marseille0:03:58
79José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille
80Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
81Jérémy Bescond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
82Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
83Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun
84Gennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) RusVelo
85Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
86Hendrik Kruger (RSA) La Pomme Marseille
87Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
88Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
89Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:04
90Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:40
91Etienne Tortelier (Fra) Sojasun
92Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
93Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
94Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
95Frédéric Brun (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
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