Â© A.S.O. .J-C. Moreau - William FRISCHKORN
Ault â Cayeux-sur-Mer. 95 kilometres. Once again the Tour de Picardie was decided for a bunch of seconds. Chavanel managing an outstanding sprint by the sea at Cayeux-sur-Mer, captures overall victory in the 62nd edition of the event, claiming his triumph for one tiny second.
Frischkorn first to attack
As soon as the first kilometre, Frischkorn (TSL) is the first to manage a decisive move breaking away from the pack and soon joined by Tombak (MIT), Brard (COF) and BergĂšs (AGR). At the top of the CĂŽte de Blengues (km 10,5), Tombak leads ahead of his breakaway companions who have a 40ââ lead over the pack. At the top of the CĂŽte dâAult (km 18), Tombak again claims the most climbersâ points in front of Brard and Frischkorn, while the pack remains 45ââ adrift.
End of break
The gap in favour of the four leaders reaches a maximum 1â55 at Bugny-les-Gamaches (km 29,5). The pack then really starts chasing and moves closer and closer. At the entry of the final circuit (km 64), the escapees only have a 20ââ advantage. At kilometre 65, Frischkorn, who had been the first to attack is also the first to be caught. Tombak, Brard and BergĂšs however continue their efforts but are eventually caught at La MoliĂšre dâAval (km 71), while title holder Robert Hunter fails to remain among the main field.
Chavanel grabs precious seconds
Moving closer to the intermediate sprint on the line at Cayeux-sur-Mer, the favouritesâ teams start organising what promises to be a battle for seconds. At the first passage on the line (km 75,5), SĂ©bastien Chavanel outsprints Elmiger and Demaret. After that last bonus sprint, Demaret virtually keeps his yellow jersey for 2ââ ahead of Elmiger, 3 over Mouris and 5 over Chavanel. The final explanation on the sea shore at Cayeux will therefore be decisive.
Chavanel, full speed ahead
The last loop is covered at a very fast pace. The FranĂ§aise des Jeux team mates of SĂ©bastien Chavanel start preparing for a royal sprint. With 300 metres to go, Chavanel and Gilbert take off together. Both men cross the finish line hand in hand. Victory goes to Chavanel who therefore claims the overall win of the 62nd Tour de Picardie.
Â© A.S.O. â J.-C. MOREAU - SĂ©bastien CHAVANEL
ââItâs a team victory. I was perfectly led out by Gilbert. We took off together in the final bend behind Hoste. I turned around and saw that the others were ten metres behind and I told Philippe ânowâs the momentâ. We eased up the pace and finished together. Itâs a real satisfaction and the proof that we can rely on sprinters to win races.â