There is no room for coincidence in the Coupe de France stages and from this Friday the Boucle de l’Artois is a perfect example. After the successes of Corentin Ermeno (AVC Aix-en-Provence) and Florentin Lecamus-Lambert (VC Rouen 76), two strong men of the beginning of the year, in the first two stages of the tournament he is the leader of the BBB-DirectVelo Challenge participant, Emilien Janier, who won this third competition act (see rating). Vendée U already had eleven top 10s at the start of this round, including five acquired from the recent Tour de Normandie (2.2), with 2nd and 3rd places at stake. This time he managed to find his way to victory, for the second time this season after opening his counter during the Circuit de la Vallée de la Loire (National Elite) at the end of February. “It’s true that in Normandy I aimed for a stage win and didn’t get very far. I was in the Top 15 almost every day. It was a successful race. The goal was to recover well between the two races in order to win the stage here in Artois. And it’s done!”he congratulates himself at the foot of the solemn platform.
VICTORY AFTER GROUP SHOT THIS MORNING
Once the choice was made, the Vendée U team made a strong impression again. “At the top of the hill, after 40 terminals, two or three guys, including Johan Le Bon, sped up. We planned to go there shortly after that. So, we were placed (smiles). So we left right away. We shot well.”he explains for DirectVelo. Then in the final, about five kilometers from the finish line, the pair Antoine Devanne – Emilien Janier tried to lure their rivals into a trap. “But it really wasn’t easy and a few riders came back. Then Antoine did the whole finale for me. The whole last kilometer I was in second place behind him. When I saw that some started throwing 250 meters, I went there and no one passed. I had little freedom of action. It wasn’t the sprint that suits me best, but it was a fatigue sprint, so you had to be strong.”.
Very impressively that same morning, the people of the Vendée were annoyed that they hadn’t won despite their good group shot. “We weren’t far from winning either with 3, 4 and 5. We would have deserved that win too… So this afternoon we were aiming to go all the way. Everyone put their stone into the building, it means that we have a really big team. We must use this as much as possible. Maybe tomorrow everything will be less beautiful.”.
TOP TWO PLACES OVERALL
In addition to the stage success of Émilien Janier, Vendée U also took the lead in the overall standings thanks to Benjamin Marais. And that is not all! His second place is none other than… Antoine Devanne, another rider from the reserves of the TotalEnergies team. “Now we are going to play the general on the last stage. We will have several cards, this may leave opportunities and should make it easier for us. But let’s see if we can keep the jersey. This will definitely be the goal. And if we can still win the stage, that will be the icing on the cake.”smiles the winner, very pleased with the achievement of one of his priority goals for the season. “I was second in the first round in Aix, then I was second in the peloton at the Vienne Classic. (10 events, ed.). Winning the Coupe de France round was the goal of turning pro at the end of the year. At the moment, I am present when solving my big tasks..
To shine in the Coupe de France was not only the goal of the 23-year-old athlete, but of his entire training. “The Coupe de France stages are great races. Returning to the national level thanks to these races is a real goal for the team. It starts very well, but we must continue“. He knows, no matter what, the rest of the peloton won’t make it easy for them this Sunday. “We have shown excellent results in two stages of the day, so we are at risk of having a lot of people on our backs. It won’t be easy.”. In any case, Vendée U has already taken her share of the pie. And the best may be yet to come in 24 hours.