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Koldo Fernandez wins sprint in the Vendée

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Koldo Fernandez used the racing strength he acquired at the Vuelta a España to beat the French sprinters at the Tour de Vendée, the 12th and final leg of the French Cup. The Spaniard repeated his effort of two years ago and won for the second time in La Roche-sur-Yon ahead of Cervélo's Davide Appollonio, who got a great lead-out from teammate Heinrich Haussler on his way back to form.

Colombia's Leonardo Duque, the 10th place finisher, secured the overall win at the French Cup by a single point over Florian Vachon, who finished seventh.

"The roads over here suit me because it's similar to the Basque country," said the 29-year-old from Zurbano. "I'm very happy to win here again. To tell the truth, I was watching Jimmy Casper, so I was a bit surprised when the two Cervélo riders created a gap, but it went well at the end."

The race concluded with a bunch sprint finish but the race was intense all the way through. Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ) were the most active riders in the 10-man breakaway that took off soon after the start and got caught with 50 kilometres to go. Voeckler tried again but a group of four managed to go away with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel), Ronny Martias (Saur-Sojasun), Rein Taarämae (Cofidis) and Bert Scheirlinckx (Landbouwkrediet).

"I tried at the beginning, I tried in the middle and I tried at the end of the race but it just didn't work out," said the French champion who was riding with his heart more than with his head to show that his BBox Bouygues Telecom team is still alive. Timing is tight for team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau to seal a deal with a new sponsor by Tuesday. "Every year there are a lot of people at the Tour de Vendée but this time there were even more," Voeckler said. "It probably has something to do with the fact that people want to see our team at the Tour de Vendée and at the start of the Tour de France again next year."

The Bbox Bouygues Telecom squad finished the work initiated by RadioShack by catching the four-man breakaway with 20km to go. Romain Lemarchand (BigMat-Auber 93) attacked with 10km to go, and was joined by Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel), Gert Verheyen (Landbouwkrediet), Rob Ruijgh and Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil). Voeckler and Benoît Vaugrenard (FDJ) tried to bridge the gap but it was all together again with 2km to go and the bunch sprint was inevitable.

The Saur-Sojasun team rode hard at the front but the duo from Cervélo and Fernandez were definitely stronger. "The strength I have from the Tour of Spain made me have an advantage," Fernandez told Cyclingnews.

"I was dreaming of winning but when I saw Fernandez passing me, there was nothing to do," said runner up Davide Appollonio, who was happy with his French campaign as he won the last stage of the Tour du Limousin and finished second at the GP Fourmies.

Fernandez continued the tradition of Basque riders winning at the Tour de Vendée, as they've won four of the past five editions.. It started with Alberto Leanizbarrutia in 1988, then Mikel Gaztanaga won twice in a row (2006 and 2007) and now Fernandez has put his name on the record for the second time following his 2008 win.

Full results
1Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi4:44:07
2Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo Test Team
3Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
4Cédric Pineau (FRa) Roubaix Lille Metropole
5Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
6Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Team Katusha
7Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
8Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
9Aristide Ratti (Ita) CarmioOro NGC Carmiooro - NGC
10Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
11Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne
12Morgan Kneisky Roubaix Lille Metropole
13Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
14Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
15Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux
16Mikhail Antonov (Rus) Team Katusha
17Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux
18Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack
19Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha
20Renaud Dion (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
22Rob Ruyjgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
23Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller
24Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
25Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale
26Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
27Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
28Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:09
29Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack0:00:11
30Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
31Amets Txurruka Ansola (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
32Mikael Chérel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
33Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93 Big Mat - Auber 93
34Stéphane Rossetto (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
35Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
36Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator Topsport
37Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
38Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
39Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
40Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
41Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:17
42Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller0:00:18
43Andrea Piechele (Ita) Carmiooro - NGC
44Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
45Yohann Gené (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
46Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team
47David Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale
48Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:25
49Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team Radioshack
50Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller0:00:27
51Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R - La mondiale
52Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
53Thibaut Pinot (FRA) Française Des Jeux0:00:30
54Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
55Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller Bretagne - Schuller
56Laurent Beure (Fra) Carmiooro - NGC
57Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha Team Katusha
58Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
59Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
60Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun Saur - Sojasun
61Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne
62Romain Bacon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo Test Team0:00:37
64Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
65Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
66Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
67Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
68Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
69Brice Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
70José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Team Radioshack
71Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack
72Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team RadioShack
73Florian Morizot (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
74Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:42
75Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
76Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
77Javier Francisco Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:44
78Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
79Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:45
80Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne0:00:52
81Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
82Jérémy Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:05
83Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:01:08
84Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:19
85Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
86Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux
87Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux
88Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Cervélo Test Team0:07:33
89Joaquin Novoa Menedez (Spa) Cervelo Test Team0:08:19
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale
DNFParide Grillo (Ita) CarmioOro NGC
DNFAntonio Quadranti (Ita) CarmioOro NGC
DNFMartial Ricci-Poggi (Fra) Landbouwkrediet
DNFGrégory Barteau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
DNFBart Dockx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
DNFMathieu Drouilly (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
DNFNiels Brouzes (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
DNFMatthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFSteven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFLloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAlexandre Lemair (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFAlexander Mironov (Rus) Itera-Katusha Team Katusha
DNFMikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFJulien Loubet (Fra) AG2R - La mondiale
DNFFabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
DNFJohan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
DNFClinton Avery (Nzl) Team RadioShack
DNFDmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Team Radioshack
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
DNFNicolas Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFSébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Carmiooro - NGC
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale
DNFJonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
DNFArnaud Molmy (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFDenis Galimzyanov (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNFJoao Correia (Por) Cervelo Test Team
DNFBrett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team
DNFCyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale AG2R - La mondiale
DNFSander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
DNFLieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNFEric Berthou (Fra) CarmioOro NGC


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