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Roche performs well on Paris-Camembert return

Posted 10 April 2012

Nicolas Roche returned to competitive action at Paris-Camembert today where he performed well over the 206 kilometre long hilly course to finish within seconds of winner Pierre Luc Perichon (VC La Pomme Marseille).

The race was Roche’s first since a lingering flu forced him to withdraw from last month’s Volta a Catalunya with just two stages remaining.

The sixth round of the Coupe de France featured eight tough climbs with no less than three first category climbs stuffed into the final 25 kilometre loop around Vimoutiers.

Roche’s AG2R La Monidale team were in the thick of the action during the closing stages as they joined forces with the FDJ Big Mat and Cofidis teams to shut down a two-man break.

The break comprising Jerome Cousin (Europcar) and Jean Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Schuller) had enjoyed a lead of almost eight minutes before they reached the first climb of the Cote de Canapville with 123 kilometres on the clock.

Their lead all but collapsed over the first category climbs of the Cote de la Huniere and Cote du Moulin Neuf on the finishing circuit with the scene set for a predictable showdown on the decisive Cote des Champeaux.

The leading duo were joined by Perichon and Cyril Bessy (Saur Sojasun) before they started into climb where the 17% gradient wreaked havoc on the peloton with just ten kilometres to go.

Roche was very much in contention over the top of the climb where no more than fifty riders stood any chance of bridging the gap to the leaders who had shed Cousin after his long day out front.

25 year old neo-pro Perichon won the three up sprint with Roche coming in just 39 seconds back on the tail-end of a group of thirty riders who had more than a minute on the fragmented peloton.

The AG2R La Mondiale man will take confidence from the result as he looks ahead to next week’s Ardennes classics where he hopes to feature in the battles for race honours.

Results:

Paris-Camembert (1.1), Yvelines - Vimoutiers, 206.5 kilometres

1.  Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) La Pomme Marseille 4:47:34  
2.  Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
3.  Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
4.  Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:00:06  
5.  Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
6.  Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
7.  Anthony Charteau (Fra) Team Europcar  
8.  Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
9.  Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
10. Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

48. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 39 seconds

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