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PCM.daily » PCM Stories & Story Games » PCM 15: Stories
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FDJ.fr : Go BIG or Go Home
AP
i1056.photobucket.com/albums/t374/wimmer09/sudarchce_zpshwhgvcal.png


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Vichot Runs out of Gas!


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Vichot looking comfortable in the Peloton as they challenge the hill climbs

A solid effort by the FDJ.fr riders taking part in the Classic Sud Ardeche as with 1km to go, both Vichot and Geniez could have gone on to snatch a unlikely victory, however neither had the legs to take part in the sprint and wound up down the order.

With 3 riders managing a slot in the Top 50, its something to build on for the FDJ.fr team, with only Brazilian 'Murilo having one of those days as he suffered a puncture and would roll in well behind the main group.

The month has come to an end and for FDJ.fr, 3 victories is a good return, but they will have their eyes firmly fixed on some of the bigger prizes to come.

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AP
IN THE MONTH THAT WAS (February)
presented by

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TOP MOMENTS


Mark Cavendish dominating in the heat as he collects not only the Tour of Qatar, but also 10 stage wins as he leads the way and is in ominous form.

Bardiani CSF celebrate a surprise in the Vuelta Ciclista a Mallorca as Edoardo Zardini comes through with the win on Spanish soil, beating out home favourite Alberto Contador as the great Spainard set his season underway.

"The best is yet to come" said Vincenzo Nibali, as the Astana Pro rider scorches his rivals in the Oman heat to win the tour thanks to a blistering attack at the end of stage 4.

NEWS


Wildcards announced:

Milano-San Remo
Southeast, NIPPO-Vini Fantini, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Wanty Groupe Gobert, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Bardiani CSF, Team Europcar & MTN Qhubeka

Paris-Roubaix
Team Europcar, Bretagne-Seche, Cofidis, MTN Qhubeka, Wanty Groupe Gobert, Southeast, Topsport Vlaanderen & UnitedHealthcare

With just over 2 months to go, teams are looking toward the Giro D'Italia, with FDJ.fr already announcing they have camps planned for the beginning of March to reconnaissance the mountain routes.

WHOSE UP/DOWN


Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-step) has collected 10 wins this month, mainly in the middle-east where he won the Tour of Qatar and picked up a pair of stage wins in the Tour of Oman. This has helped his team lead the way with 16 wins overall this year.

Rui Costa remains on this list following his win at the Volta ao Algarve in his home nation. This adds to his success in the Tour Down Under and without any UCI World Tour points on offer this month, he remains atop those standings as well.

Bad news for Lotto-Soudal's Lars Ytting Bak as he will miss all events up until the end of March with a broken collarbone suffered in training. The 35 year old Dane will certainly be feeling the effects of this in the latter years of his career.

BMC continue to search for a win on the domestic calendar, having just a sole win in the Australian National ITT Championship via Rohan Dennis to show for 2 months work

QUOTE OF THE MONTH


"Everything has been setup for me superbly by a great team. We have had our problems but this year things are coming together and you can feel it when you are out there racing that these guys know how to win and want to put that together for you" Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-step)

WINNERS

Download source  Code
Vuelta Ciclista a Mallorca            Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF)
Cadel Evans Road Race                 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise   Fabian Wegmann (CULT Energy)
Etoile de Besseges                    Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin)
Herald Sun Tour                       Andriy Grivko (Astana Pro)
Dubai Tour                            Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE)
GP Costa degil Etruschi               Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling)
Tour of Qatar                         Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-step)      
Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia              Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin)
Clasica de Almeria                    Marco Haller (Team Katusha)
Tour of Oman                          Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro)
Vuelta a Andalucia-Ruta Del Sol       Daniel Moreno (Team Katusha)
Volta ao Algarve                      Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida)
Trofeo Laigueglia                     Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani CSF)
Tour du Haut Var-matin                Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr)
Ster van Zwolle                       Geert Van Der Weijst (Team 3M)
Classic Sud Ardeche                   Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad                 John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin)




WHATS HAPPENING


March will be a massive month for those in cycling with events such as the Paris-Nice and Milano-San Remo on the horizon, whilst waiting at the end of the month is the Belgian Classics, as we look to close out the first quarter of the 2015 season.

RANKINGS
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AP
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cyclingnews.com

Homegrown Winner!
By: cyclingnews

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FDJ.fr's Courteille pushes on and has enough to clinch the win, as his team dominate the event

The 3rd 'Drome Classic' and the 3rd French Winner as Arnaud Courteille raced away following a hard push by his team to collect the win on the nose, from a chasing Matthew Goss.

Courteille and FDJ.fr appeared to time their attack just right with a burst with just over 1.5km to go. This gave Courteille enough of an edge to hang on to the win, even though Goss chased him down hard.

Adding to that win, FDJ.fr saw Ladagnous come in 5th, whilst also claiming another Top 10 and 3 more Top 15 placings. A dominant ride for the French Team who have had a mixed start to the year.

Marc Madiot after the race said "We had this as an important objective on our calendar, our sponsors and everyone connected with the team enjoys it when we can win our home races and today we were able to do that and look comfortable doing so"

With the Paris-Nice around the corner, this confidence boost is just the tonic for the FDJ.fr team who will be hoping that they can translate success in these events, into the major category races.

Valence Drome Classic 2015 Results

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AP
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Chalk Up Another!


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Courteille can celebrate as he glides home after a tough chasedown by MTN-Qhubeka's Matthew Goss

A superb day for all those involved with FDJ.fr as they took charge off and secured the win in the 3rd Valence Drome Classic.

Looking comfortable throughout the race, once the order to attack was sent, 6 of the 7 strong team all pushed for the line with Arnaud Courteille coming out from the train to take on the sprint for the finish.

Fortunately the attack appeared to be timed to perfection as although he slowed nearer the finish, there was enough distance between him and his nearest rivals to cross in 1st place.

Overall the FDJ.fr team can celebrate both individual and team wins, as well as 2 more Top 10 placings, with only Johan Le Bon coming outside of the Top 15.

Courteille spoke after his win saying "I was put in a great position to win the race and I knew that I had to take the chance and make it count. It really is a team win for us today, we controlled the Peloton and it was a pleasure to race... even though the conditions were far from perfect"

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Croatia14
Amazing victory!
 
AP
Croatia14 wrote:
Amazing victory!


Thanks for following and it was nice to put a win together in such fashion.
 
AP
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cyclingnews.com

Valverde Climbs to New Heights!
By: cyclingnews

8 stages, beginning and ending with a time trial, coming via mountains and descents, the 2015 Paris-Nice didnt fail to deliver in terms of excitement as the Spanish could celebrate with Alejandro Valverde coming up trumps in the grueling 5th stage to blow away his competition.

Tony Martin would take the initial Yellow Jersey as he won the opening day time trial, before the Italians would take charge as they would claim the next 3 stage wins, including back to back triumphs for Giacomo Nizzolo as he surprised many with his sprint wins.

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There we go! Valverde breaks the back of the 2015 Paris-Nice contenders

Then came the decisive 5th stage and a huge climb to end the arduous race, as Valverde found a second wind to decimate the field and put up a 3 minute gap that would prove to be unassailable in the remaining stages.

Valverde said "I knew I had to attack, the team helped me get to the front and when I kicked on, I saw that no one could stay with me. I expected a counter, but nothing came and over the radio they said keep on pushing as everyone else is falling away. Its a great feeling to win this event and I have to thank my team Movistar for their help"

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The remaining stage winners would read like a who's who' of cycling with Degenkolb (eventual points jersey winner), Daniel Martin and Alberto Contador all collecting wins, but its Valverde and Movistar who can take the most from their 8 days in France.

Paris-Nice 2015 Results

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AP
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No Pomp'!


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Very little to smile about for FDJ.fr, as they end up 2 men short and nothing to show for their effort

"We will need to have an honest and open conversation with both of them, I dont think that necessarily they had to stop racing, but they made that choice and we have to stick by that and make sure they come back 100% in the future" Marc Madiot said when questioned on why Pinot and Vichot lasted just 1 stage in this years Paris-Nice.

That was just a small part of what was a dismal effort by the FDJ.fr team, as they failed to contend for any stage win or any of the jerseys on offer, whilst watching rivals Ag2r La Mondiale and their French starlet Romain Bardet take the plaudits for his young rider jersey.

With the Paris-Nice event taking place alongside the Tirreno-Adriatico, the team had hoped for some success here, however its now likely that they will come out with nothing from either and have alot of questions to answer as the season gathers pace.

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AP
cyclingnews.com

Oh No Pinot!
By: cyclingnews

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One of the most promising French riders in recent years is becoming 'French' and the curse of being hyped up by the French media as the next 'Hinault could well bring this young riders career crashing to the ground.

Success had come easy to Pinot before this year, stage wins in Le Tour, as well as a 3rd place in the GC, it looked like a matter of time before he could lead FDJ.fr and France into wonderland. Yet this year it has been a spate of misfires, back of the pack stumblings and just recently in the Paris-Nice, an embarassing withdrawal.

With his own team boss questioning his attitude, could Pinot be listening to his own plaudits and not focusing on doing his actual job or is there something more sinsiter at work.

Pinot in a recent interview before the Paris-Nice said "I am struggling for rythmn and form, but I feel good in myself and just want to race and blow away some cobwebs". He would add "The best of me is to come, events like this in my own country always inspire me and im sure with some challenging stages, that I can be prominent and answer some of the questions about me this year"

Unfortunately for Pinot, this, combined with his failure in the event has only given the skeptics more questions to ask and his fans, more answers to demand from him.

The challenge now is for any cracks in his relationship with FDJ.fr to be resolved and for him and the team to focus on how to bring him back to his best and put on some performances in preparation for his anticipated assault on the Tour de France come July.
 
DiCyc
Pinot can do it, if he''s in great shape Smile
 
AP
DiCyc wrote:
Pinot can do it, if he''s in great shape Smile


Im hoping for some improvement from him!
 
Eeee394
Great story! Smile

Keep on the good work!
 
AP
Eeee394 wrote:
Great story! Smile

Keep on the good work!


Thanks mate, appreciate you following and glad you are enjoying the story
 
AP
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cyclingnews.com

No Quibble; Its Nibal(i)!
By: cyclingnews

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Stunning views and great racing; the Tirreno Adriatico lived up to its billing in 2015


The season appears to come alive in dramatic fashion for the Astana Pro team as Vincenzo Nibali continues to pile on the pressure, once again collecting a winners jersey in no small part thanks to his burst away in the mountains at the end of stage 4.

Before that, the sprinters had their way in the Tirreno-Adriatico, whilst the British pair of Froome and Wiggins looked to be duelling each other for bragging rights, as Team Sky had its own internal battle on hand.

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The crowd are on the road... they think its all over...

However all changed in stage 4 as the climbs kicked up a notch and it was Nibali who burst ahead, not to be seen again as he ensured he would have over a 1 minute lead from nearest rival Rui Costa. There was little the Lampre-Merida rider could do about a comeback, but again he will look upon his opening months to 2015 as a stunning success.

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Peter Sagan is involved in a crash early in the race, but recovers to win the points jersey for Tinkoff-Saxo


With Froome and Wiggins drifting, Mark Cavendish flew the British flag, winning 2 more stages in what has been a hugely productive season for him and the Etixx-Quick-step squad. Their directeur sportif Davide Bramati beamed "We have had some great finishes, Mark (Cavendish) is on a different level out there, but as a team we are supreme and I can see us only getting stronger"

Tirreno-Adriatico 2015 Results

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AP
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Italian Woes for FDJ.fr


Another event and another miserable output by the FDJ.fr riders, as they compound their efforts by ranking as the worst UCI World Tour team after 7 stages.

Individual struggles saw 3 riders finish well over 30 minutes off the lead time, whilst Finnish veteran Jussi Veikkanen is yet to reach the standard expected of him as he rolled home just shy of that mark.

Geniez and Ladagnous showed signs of staying power but in all honesty, the failure of the team in yet another important race is a concern and those wins back in February begin to look a long way off.

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AP
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cyclingnews.com

Sprint is Van Stayen's
By: cyclingnews

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Van Stayen has the legs and glides past his nearest rivals to steal the win


Cofidis' rider Michael Van Stayen lived up to his name by outlasting the rest of the Peloton to sprint to a victory in the rain, in this years Classic Loire Atlantique.

With FDJ.fr and Arnaud Demare expected to put in the biggest challenge, the win for Cofidis will mean even more as they take charge over their French based rivals and snag an unlikely win.

For FDJ.fr it proved to be a case of shooting the bolt too soon, as Demare took on the race from the front but was unable to live up to his French National Champion status and would fall back down the field as the sprinters edge him out.

However it is Cofidis' day and they will look upon this victory as an important stepping stone in their preparation for bigger things to come.

Tirreno-Adriatico 2015 Results

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AP
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Could've & Should've


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Demare gambles but fails as he takes this one on the chin

"At times you look back and think what could have gone better and today its what I will do" said Arnaud Demare after the race. Whilst Team Prinicpal Marc Madiot weighed in with "We had this penciled in for success, we came up short again, there cant be positives when your top sprinter is unable to compete in a sprint race against riders who are of a lower standard"

Its another bad day on the books for FDJ.fr as they let slip a strong position at the lead of the Peloton, to see race favourite Arnaud Demare slowly come back toward them as he had little left for the sprint.

Hindsight shows that the team made their move too early and left Demare more work to do that he needed, however it looks like just another excuse for a team starting to run out of time and patience from those backing it.

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AP
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cyclingnews.com

Coquard Denied in Finale!
By: cyclingnews

La Classicissima, one of cyclings 5 monuments finished today with a 3-way sprint for the line that saw Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) retain his crown and edge out the challenge from Bryan Coquard of Team Europcar.

With Greg Van Avermaet of BMC also invovled as the riders swung into the final stretch, it was Kristoff who managed to get on the power quicker and harder to break the finishing line first.

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Kristoff pictured in the middle of Van Avermaet and Coquard, would burst away for his 2nd consecutive Milano-San Remo victory

The day's racing proved to be another test in sweltering conditions, with various breakaways never forming to much, until the final 50km where by the Peloton became fractured and riders strewn down the road.

Kristoff with this victory now moves into an elite group of riders with 2 or more Milan-San Remo success' under his belt. He becomes the first rider since the Erik Zabel to retain the honour, who did it back in 2000.

Milano-San Remo 2015 Results

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AP
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FDJ.fr find momentum!


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Finally the FDJ.fr team come to life as they step up their performance as a group and challenge in the Milano-San Remo monument. In all honesty, victory was a little far off, with Arnaud Demare recovering to come straight to the near on 300km event and finish in a top 10 slot.

Johan Le Bon came in 14th, a season best for him, whilst the team rank of 4th proved that FDJ.fr can compete at the top end of races if they get things right on the day.

Matthieu Ladagnous said "We knew our objectives and we stuck to them as a group. Sometimes you have to look at victories without actually winning and I think we can do that today and bring something back to be positive about"

With the Tour of Catalunya starting tomorrow, Marc Madiot will be hoping this positive reaction will carry on toward the 7 day event.
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AP
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cyclingnews.com

Schillinger Makes it Bora's Day!
By: cyclingnews

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A calculated and confident break in the final kilometre by Andreas Schillinger (pictured above) saw him ease to an unlikely win in the sun, as he timed it right to drop the chasing pack.

With Movistar, Ag2r, FDJ and Orica all sending in decent teams, it was expected that one of their riders would collect the win, yet Bora-Argon 18 would be the ones celebrating, whilst Cofidis also stepped up as a team to win the team rankings.

As the Tour of Catalunya starts tomorrow there are more important things on the minds of those teams involved in that, however today once again showed that if the chance arises, then anyone can get themselves on the podium and take their moment in the spotlight.

Cholet-Pays de Loire 2015 Results

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