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Deignan bounces back to form

Posted 07 April 2010

Philip Deignan

Philip Deignan bounced back to form in the opening stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in France where he placed 35th following an earlier bid to escape as part of a ten man breakaway.

The Cervelo Test Team rider returned to racing having spent the past week recuperating in Donegal from a bout of flu which had forced him to withdraw from the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

The 184.6km opener from Sable-Sur-Sarthe to Varades was exceptionally fast with a number of early attacks before Deignan, Anthony Roux (Francaise des Jeux), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Uros Murn (Adria Mobil), Christophe Moreau (Caisse d’Epargne), Thierry Hupond (Skil-Shimano), Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun), Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack) and Steve Morabito (BMC Racing Team) went clear after 58 kilometres.

The breakaway group never gained more than a minute on the peloton and all but Popovych, Moreau and Minard were reeled in by the time the riders reached the feed zone some 35 kilometres later.

A series of counter attacks resulted in a 24 man group detaching itself from the peloton. Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil) and Yury Trofimov (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) made a bid for the stage win as the bunch closed in but were eventually caught two kilometres from the finish where Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) became the surprise stage winner.

“I’m on the road to recovery and it’s back to business with the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe. The four-day race is not easy but it’s not as hard as a race like Paris Nice or Pays Basque so it’s ideal to regain my condition in preparation for the Ardennes classics later this month,” Deignan said of the race.


Circuit Cycliste Sarthe - Pays de la Loire, France (2.1)

Stage 1: Sable-Sur-Sarthe – Varades, 184.6 kilometres

1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)  4:09:15
2. Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) same
3. Anthony Ravard (Ag2R La Mondiale) same
4. Sébastien Chavanel (Francaise Des Jeux) same
5. Fabien Bacquet (Big Mat - Auber) same

35. Philip Deignan (Cervelo-Test Team) same time

General classification after Stage 1:

1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) 4 hours 9 mins 5 secs
2. Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) at 4 secs
3. Yury Trofimov (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) same time
4. Anthony Ravard (Ag2R La Mondiale) at 6 secs
5. Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil) same time

39. Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) at 10 secs.

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