*fr 2017 Coupe de France de cyclisme sur route *fr
With the running of GP La Marseilles yesterday, it is time for the annual post on that bedrock of French cycling. Ah oui mesdames et messieurs, je vous présente La Coupe de France 2017.
Usually the phrase 'season long narrative' makes me very cross, especially when it is being shoe-horned into somewhere where it makes no sense whatsoever. However, this is not the case for the Coupe de France. A national competition to find the best individual, best young rider and best team over a series of one day races throughout the season works extremely well and makes absolute sense.
Individual and Young Rider
2016 was the first edition where ALL riders in the race were eligible to score points for the individual best rider and best young rider competition, and as far as I am aware this will be the same for 2017.
Points are awarded as follows:
The team competition remains an entirely French affair. It's a little more complicated and so this is from Wikipedia...
Each race, the positions of the first three riders of each French team are added to give the team position. The team with the lowest team position is the winner of the team competition for that race. E.g.: a team having their first three riders all on the podium will have a team position score of 1+2+3=6 and since no other team will have a lower team position, this team will win 12 points for the team standings. Note that only French teams can score points.
Points are awarded as follows:
Quick recap from 2016
The series turned out to be a close fight between two times winner Ag2r's Samuel Dumoulin and Belgian sprinter Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles), with both riders separated by just one point before the final race at Tour de Vendée. Dumoulin finished ahead of Planckaert in the to secure his third overall win. Best young rider was Bryan Coquard, and best team went to HP BTP–Auber93. All the results and final standings can be found here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_French_Road_Cycling_Cup).
Here's a super little visual roundup. Come on! Who doesn't enjoy a bit of Timberlake with their French cycling?
And of course there is the traditional PMU awards night at the hippodrome, where for once Samuel Dumoulin is not the shortest man in the room :lol
Coupe de France calendar 2017
|Round|| Date|| Race|| Won by|| Leader|| Best team|
|#1|| 29 Jan|| GP La Marseillaise|| Arthur Vichot|| Vichot|| AG2R La Mondiale|
|#2|| 18 Mar|| Classic Loire Atlantique|| Laurent Pichon|| Pichon|| Fortuneo Vital Concept|
|#3|| 31 Mar|| Route Adélie|| || || |
|#4|| 2 Apr|| Roue Tourangelle|| || || |
|#5|| 11 Apr|| Paris-Camembert|| || || |
|#6|| 13 Apr|| GP de Denain|| || || |
|#7|| 15 Apr|| Tour du Finistère|| || || |
|#8|| 17 April|| Tro Bro Leon|| || || |
|#9|| 27 May|| GP de Plumelec-Morbihan|| || || |
|#10|| 28 May|| Boucles de l'Aulne|| || || |
|#11|| 30 Jul|| Polynormande|| || || |
|#12|| 3 Sep|| GP de Fourmies|| || || |
|#13|| 10 Sep|| Tour du Doubs|| || || |
|#14|| 17 Sep|| GP d'Isbergues|| || || |
|#1|| 1 Oct|| Tour de Vendée|| || |
I'll try and keep this table updated as the season gets going.
LNC Coupe de France webpage is HERE (http://www.lncpro.fr/(gtpdoomffcgrpz55ivne4z45)/Default6_57.aspx?HeaderID=3&TopID=9&SubtitleID=Courses%20%3E%20Classement&MatsportUrlID=cf/2017)
Classic Loire Atlantique
La Haye-Fouassière to La Haye-Fouassière, 182.8km
Round Two Coupe De France
Sat 18th March
It's been a long time since #1 of the Coupe de France way back on 29th Jan hasn't it? So much racing under our belts that's it's hard to recall the day #fdj Arthur Vichot cocked a snook at curses and took the win GP La Marseillaise.
However, #2 is upon us AT LAST. I know we'll all be in La Primevera mode, but let's not forsake the French altogether because the hilly circuits that make up the Classic Loire Atlantique always provide some exciting racing.
It's your typical Coupe de France race. A tough, hilly parcours that will be aggressively raced, hard to control and therefore completely unpredictable. Since it's inclusion in the competition in 2012 it has never come down to a bunch sprint finish. Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seche) won from a two-up sprint in 2012, but since then Cammaerts, Gougeard (twice) and Turgis all took victory from a solo move.
2016 | TURGIS Anthony
2015 | GOUGEARD Alexis
2014 | GOUGEARD Alexis
2013 | CAMMAERTS Edwig
2012 | VACHON Florian
2011 | WESTRA Lieuwe
2010 | MANGEL Laurent
2009 | BESSY Cyril
2008 | GAZTANAGA Mikel
2007 | JALABERT Nicolas
2016 saw #cofidis Cofidis take the race apart. They put 5 riders in the decisive 8 man break and finished with 4 in the top 5. Anthony Turgis went solo on the final lap and with 4 team mates in the 7 man chase group, stayed away to take victory by over a minute.
2016 was a particularly brutal edition, with only 49 finishing from the 168 on the start line. This wasn't due to bad weather, it was the sheer speed and aggression of the racing, with many saying it was a harder race than #MSR
182.8km sees the peloton cover 11 laps of a lumpy 16.8km circuit in the hills south of La Haye Fouassiére. The hilly circuit is really an invitation to attacks and that makes the race very unpredictable.
There are two main climbs. Chateau-Thebaud is tackled at 7.5km and the St-Fiacre-sur-Main at 9.8km. After the St Fiacre the remaining 7km is rolling all the way to the finish. The last 3km is fairly straightforward, with a slight uphill drag to the line.
Little YouTube preview of the course here...with a slideshow of the climbs
2017 Start List
Teams. As below PLUS a French National team
Confirmed start list
Who'll stand atop the podium?
As I said, it's unpredictable and much will depend on how the bigger teams ride the race. You're looking for in-form riders, those who can sniff the winning move and have the strength to stay with it. Start looking for your needle in the giant haystack now. Me? I'm going with the brown shorted Vuillermoz :cheer
Not sure yet. It's not listed on either Cycling Fans (http://www.cyclingfans.com/) or Pro Cycling Live (https://www.procyclinglive.com/livestream/)
Eurosport seem to have it listed, and I'm certain there will be a French stream. I'll update with any I find.
Direct Velo will have a liveticker (http://www.directvelo.com/direct/3126/classic-loire-atlantique-2017)
Race Twitter @ClassicLoire44 (https://twitter.com/ClassicLoire44) Hashtag #Classic44