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May 1910. Two months before the start of the 8thedition of the Tour de France, Alphonse Steines drove his car to the foot of the Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees.
He was a journalist at L'Auto and was responsible for planning the route for the Tour de France. For quite some time, he’d had just one idea in mind: he wanted to find out if it was possible for the riders in the next edition to enter the Pyrenees for the first time. No one had ever dared to try this before.
The World Cup was launched this week-end in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa), with mixed results for our Lapierre International Team.
The FDJ Bigmat team is still on top, with Arnold Jeannesson finishing sixth at the overall classification on the roads of Paris-Nice.
The Italian SuperEnduro in San Remo took place this Sunday March 4th. On this occasion, and after 32 kms of stage, Nicolas Vouilloz wins the overall classification, in front of 2011 Italian champion Andrea Bruno (Transition). Karim Amour (Kona) is third.
The young career of Arnaud Démare is definitely exceptional. After winning the sixth stage of Tour of Qatar, finished fourth Kuurne-Buxelles-Kuurne, first at Grand Prix of Samyn and second of the second stage of Three Days of West Flanders, the sprinter of the team FDJ-Bigmat claimed victory on Sunday in the third step, after working for his team mate Nacer Bouhanni in the last kilometers.
Arnaud Démare, who won the Grand Prix Samyn Wednesday, offered to the FDJ team the third-hundredth victory in its history. Arnaud produced his effort to 150 meters from the line, Romain Feillu in his wheel could not follow him. He came up to Boeckmans, the overflowed thirty meters from the finish line to win, arms raised. His team mates finally managed to surround it, very proud of the overall performance. Indeed, their role was crucial for this historical victory of Démare.
A repeat performance for the FDJ – Bigmat team, last year's winner of the title ( Arthur Vichot, victor in 2011).
Yauheni Hutarovich was close to the exploit yesterday by taking the 2nd place of Kuurne - Bruxelles – Kuurne, behind the world champion and favorite Mark Cavendish. Arnaud Démare, 20 years old, proves again that he is already part of the best sprinters of the world. He takes the 4th place.
Check out the 2012 Lapierre jerseys!
Nacer Bouhanni, 21 years old, took his 1st victory of the season last week at the 1st stage of « L’Etoile de Bessèges ». He also finished 3rd of the 2nd stage.
Pierrick Fedrigo, after a tough 2011 season, took the 7th place at the final overall classification.
1st victory of the season for Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ - Bigmat)
As a conclusion of the cyclo-cross season, this weekend world championships took place in Coxyde, Belgium. FDJ-Bigmat riders Steve Chainel and Francis Mourey take 11th and 12th places, but certainly hoped for a better result.
Traditional launch of the Road season in France, the GP La Marseillaise was the 1st race in 2012 for many riders. With Jeremy Roy winner in 2011, FDJ-Bigmat riders wanted to keep their title. Remi Pauriol was in the leading group during a big part of the race.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot has won the XC World Cup in the U23 category ! A title she had already won last year while she was racing in the Junior category.
Pauline, 19, who missed the first race in South Africa - she favoured a road competition on that day - won 4 WC races and finished 3rd in Nove Mesto and 2nd in Val di Sole, and logically added a new title to her already impressive list of victories.