French Road Race Championships – IAM Cycling on the podium again

29 June 2015

IAM Cycling

IAM Cycling FFC podium illus(FFC)

The 2015 of the French Road Race Championships certainly held the fans spellbound until the final meters of the race that in the end saw the victory of Steven Tronet (Auber – 93).  The 247 kilometer circuit on a course around Chantonnay offered a tailor made course for puncheurs like the winner.  However, minus a crash with 200 meters to go to the finish, everything seemed predestined to find Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) raising his arms in victory across the line.  IAM Cycling’s Sylvain Chavanel placed himself well among the sprinters and ended the day by distinguishing himself with a podium position on the third step, after Anthony Roux (FDJ) was relegated.  But IAM Cycling was visible throughout the race since Jérôme Coppel, the new French time trial champion, spent the day in the main break of the race.

Having taken his second podium position in four days, Sylvain Chavanel was prepared to discuss his race only minutes after crossing the line.  “Nacer Bouhanni’s crash surprised a lot of people.  I was in sixth or seventh position at the time.  But Steven Tronet and Anthony Roux had already made their moves, so it was too late.  I am very happy to have finished third, but I do feel a lot of sympathy for Bouhanni because he certainly had the legs to take another title; and I take my hat off to his team, which really rode perfectly all day.  That’s why I was not banking on this race, and why I made my tactics according to what Cofidis did.  Nacer had clearly displayed his ambitions, and given the number of riders entered, it seemed useless for me to try something earlier.  However, Jérôme Coppel did spend his day at the front of the peloton, and made it a tough race.  As far as I’m concerned, he had a great championship.”

IAM Cycling Championnat France Chavanel Sylvain

Apropos, Coppel, who took his place on the top step of the podium on Thursday, was not intimidated by his recent success.  “We were only four riders from IAM Cycling, and I think that we had a great race.  Personally, I was not feeling amazing, so I wanted to anticipate the attacks.  I would not have been able to follow the favorites all day.  But when the break was a group of seven including Thomas Voeckler and Romain Bardet off the front, honestly I began to believe.  I thought we might be able to take it all the way.  We were pulled back, though.  The course was hard, but the result proved that an in form sprinter could win it.  For IAM Cycling, Sylvain Chavanel secured a good result, which bodes well for the Tour.”

 IAM Cycling Championnat France Coppel Jerome