Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tour de Normandie (March 18th-24th) Results

I will be updating this page daily with results from the Tour de Normandie! If you are pressed for time, follow me on Twitter (@Vlaanderen90) for daily updates on the race.

Stage 2 Forges-les-Eaux to Elbeuf-sur-Seine

The peloton left it a bit too late today as Jesper Hensen (CULT Energy) and Martin Mortensen (Concordia-Riwal) took their breakaway to the line, with Mortensen taking the two up sprint in Elbeuf-sur-Seine. It was a strange race overall as a break of four ruled the majority of the day before Hensen and Mortensen attacked, while behind, the peloton kept waiting and waiting before finally starting their chase in earnest.

The race left Forges-les-Eaux and a break of four attacked early on that included Hensen, Mortensen, Maidos Tilegen (Astana Continental) and David Boutville (VC Rouen).

The breakaway riding along
The break maintained an advantage of around 4'30" throughout the stage as De Rijke-Shanks led the peloton, looking to place Coen Vermeltfoort on the top step after his 2nd place yesterday. Multiple abandons happened during the stage, remnants from the crashes yesterday as recently returned doper Fabien Taillefer, Bryan Nauleau (Vendée U), Emmanuel Keo (Sojasun Espoirs), Jens Wallays (EFC-OPQS) and Fabien Bacquet (Roubaix-Lille). As the race continued to wind down, the peloton still weren't reeling in the breakaway. With the snoozing peloton, Reidar Borgensen (Joker-Merida) and Steve Tronet (BigMat-Auber93) attacked and slowly began to chip away at the breakaway's advantage.

With just over 20km to go, Mortensen and Hensen attacked their two breakaway companions and instantly got a small gap. This seemed to wake to the peloton up because the gap began to drop in chunks. With 13km to go, the advantage was 2'40 for the leading duo. With 6km to go, all of the other riders up the road were swept up and the duo only had a minute. The peloton had shattered though as a big crash took out a huge number of riders with around 6 to 7km to go. With Hensen higher on the general classification, he didn't mind riding with Mortensen and ceding a stage win to his countryman. Coming into the finish, Mortensen took the two-up sprint while the shattered peloton was led home by Marco Benfatto (Astana CT).

Magnus Cort Neilsen's bike didn't make it out alive

EFC-OPQS rider Josh Atkins take on the crash

Stage Two Results (Full Results)

  1. Martin Mortensen (Concordia-Riwal)
  2. Jesper Hensen (CULT Energy)
  3. Marco Benfatto (Astana Continental) +7"
  4. Tony Hurel (Europcar) s.t.
  5. Alexander Blain (Raleigh) s.t.
  6. Silvan Dillier (BMC U23) s.t.
  7. Sergey Nikolaev (Itera-Katusha) s.t.
  8. Eugenio Alafaci (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
  9. Erwan Brenterch (VC Rouen) s.t.
  10. Julien Duval (Roubaix-Lille) s.t.
Overall, Fabio Silvestre hung on to his lead while Hensen moved up to 9th. Tom Scully, winner of the prologue victim of a crash in the finale of stage 1, was given the same time as the finishing peloton by the judges this morning.

Overall after Stage 2
  1. Fabio Silvestre (Leopard-Trek)
  2. Tom Scully (Raleigh) +5
  3. Frederik Ludvigsson (People4You-Unaas) +7
  4. Silvan Dillier (BMC U23) +8
  5. Ivar Slik (Rabobank Development) +10
  6. Anthony Turgis (CC Nogent) +15
  7. Stefan Küng (BMC U23) s.t.
  8. Markus Fothern (NSP-Ghost) +16
  9. Jesper Hansen (CULT Energy) +17
  10. Christoph Pfingsten (De Rijke) s.t.
The peloton was decimated after the crashes today. Only 30 riders finished with the main peloton with different bunches coming in for the next 12 minutes. With the big crash occurring outside of the 3km safe zone, times are unlikely to be adjusted. Kudos to Rabobank Development for making it through with van Baarle, van der Lijke, Slik and Zabel (who finished at +15). 

Stage 1 Colombelles to Forges les Eaux (201 km)

A group of three attackers, Cédric Delaplace (Sojasun Espoirs), Rudy Kowalski (Roubaix-Lille) and Roman Semyonov (Astana CT) dominated the early action. The trio got away early and got a maximum gap of 5 minutes on the peloton. The trio continued to lead as the peloton, not very keen on riding all out, kept them honest and slowly the gap began to tumble. Going into the last 20 kilometers, the gap was tumbling further and a catch was made between 5 and 10km to go. The only way to describe the final 5 kilometers was absolute chaos. There were multiple crashes reported in the final 5 kilometers, one at 4 kilometers, another with around 1km to go and then another one within 200 meters of the line. Riders that got caught up include Tom Scully (Raleigh), Rick Zabel, Jasper Bovenhuis, Ivar Slik (Rabobank Development) and Stian Remme (Joker-Merida) but they are only a few.

Jasper Bovenhuis is a bit worse for wear after today
As the sprint wound up, Fabio Silvestre (Leopard-Trek) found himself in front and won the sprint ahead of ex-Rabobank rider Coen Vermeltfoort (De Rijke) and Alexander Blain (Raleigh). Blain was strong in the sprint and according to him via twitter, was only passed in the final 5 meters after he slowed on the false flat run-up. Lots of time gaps were opened up due to crashes with only 32 riders finishing in the first group and around 25 more finishing 11 seconds in arrears.

Top 10 - Full Results
  1. Fabio Silvestre (Leopard-Trek) 4:39'51"
  2. Coen Vermeltfoort (De Rijke) all s.t.
  3. Alexander Blain (Raleigh)
  4. Tony Hurel (Europcar)
  5. Sergey Nikolaev (Itera-Katusha)
  6. Mathieu Drujon (BigMat-Auber 93)
  7. Nick van der Lijke (Rabobank Development)
  8. Steve Tronet (BigMat-Auber 93)
  9. Eugenio Alafaci (Leopard-Trek)
  10. Daniel Klemme (Leopard-Trek)
Silvestre is the new leader of the race overall with Frederik Ludvigsson (People4You-Unaas) moving up to 2nd overall at 7 seconds while Silvan Dillier (BMC U23) is now 3rd at 8 seconds.

Tomorrow is the stage to Elbeuf-sur-Seine, which has a few more hills but could be another bunch sprint.

 Prologue 3.4km Saint-Lô to Saint-Lô

Tom Scully (Raleigh)

Tom Scully (Raleigh) blitzed the short prologue around The Capital of the Ruins, Saint-Lô, and won the opening prologue of the 33rd Tour de Normandie. Scully was tested by former French junior TT champion Alexis Gougeard (USSA Pavilly Barentin) and former Europcar stagiaire Bryan Nauleau (Vendée U). Argos-Shimano's Tobias Ludvigsson isn't the only talent in his family. After winning the prologue here in 2011, his younger brother Frederik Ludvigsson (People4You-Unaas) went 4th overall, just 2 seconds off the time of Scully. Former World Junior RR Champion Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Vendée U) finished 5th, another impressive result for the young talent.

Silvan Dillier (BMC U23) was 7th
A massive rainstorm came in later in the day and slowed down many of the later riders including Rabobank Development's Dylan van Baarle (53rd at +17"). 
  1. Tom Scully (Raleigh)
  2. Alexis Gougeard (USSA Pavilly Barentin) +1"
  3. Bryan Nauleau (Vendée U) +2"
  4. Frederik Ludvigsson (People4You-Unaas) s.t.
  5. Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Vendée U) +3"
  6. Rick Zabel (Rabobank Development) s.t.
  7. Silvan Dillier (BMC U23) s.t.
  8. Olivier Pardini (Verandas Willems) s.t.
  9. Maxim Pokidov (Itera-Katusha) +4"
  10. Fabio Silvestre (Leopard-Trek) +5"
Clifford the Big Yellow Dog presenting Scully with his prizes
Skipping those I already mentioned, others put in very good rides such as Zabel and Dillier. Zabel, being more or less a sprinter, is well suited to a prologue while Dillier is the product of the track. Ivar Slik (Rabobank Development) is sitting in a prime spot after going 12th, just 5 seconds off Scully. Slik went fast enough on the climb on the backside of the course to grab the polka dot jersey for best climber. 

Note: Pictures are from the twitter feeds of Team Raleigh and BMC U23. Follow them on twitter at @TeamRaleighUK and @BMCDevoTeam :)

Prologue video:

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