GP de Denain [1.HC]
Denain to Denain, 196.4km
Round Six Coupe De France
Weds 15th April
Missing the scenery of Northern France? Never fear the GP de Denain is here to ease your pangs. Traditionally run on Easter Tuesday during the festivals and the carnival of Denain, this is a jewel of French sprint cycling. Think Schelderprijs style bragging rights.
I mean who can forget that brilliant mazey finish last year when
Dan McLay threaded his way through ever decreasing gaps to snatch victory from
Thomas Boudat. Just in case, here you go - MARVEL!!!!https://twitter.com/Jase_A/status/722506796191993856
The first edition of the Denain Grand Prix, which was open to professionals, was won in 1959 by Irishman Seamus Eliott. It was not until the victory of José Samyn in 1967 that a French rider finally inscribed his name on the list. The next year, Jean Stablinski won. After a prestigious success, the former world champion was keen to start from Denain with the bouquet that had always refused him since the start of his participation in the Grand Prix.
It should be noted here that all the French winners are still Northerners, Robert Mintkewicz in 1977, Jean-Philippe Pipart in 1979, Bruno Wojtinek achieved the first double in 1986 and 1987.Jimmy Casper is currently the record holder of the victories with four bouquets (on three different finishes).
Since 1994 Daniel Mangeas has been running the whole race for the great joy of all his friends who come for the race but also for the comments of the ex-voice of the Tour. The event that has been part of the Coupe de France since the first edition in 1992 has become an inevitable date on the international calendar. As of April 14, the 2016 edition will attract even bigger teams now that the event has entered the UCI 1:HC category.
Get your toes tapping and appetite whetted with this videoPrevious winners
2016 | MCLAY Daniel
2015 | BOUHANNI Nacer
2014 | BOUHANNI Nacer
2013 | DéMARE Arnaud
2012 | HAEDO Juan Jose
2011 | CASPER Jimmy
2010 | FLAHAUT Denis
2009 | CASPER Jimmy
2008 | BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
2007 | CHAVANEL SébastienTop-10 2016
I'm pleased to see the race on the calendar after some worrying financial difficulties
. Also very glad to hear they have found the money to have the race televised live
Just to show the scope of what the organisation has to achieve. The websites states that the 196.km course needs to be manned by 534 marshals as it traverses across 54 municipalities spread over six intercommunalities. Parcours 2017
It's altered a little from previous editions. The race does not pass through the towns north of Valenciennes for various reasons. But the BIG news is that for the first time in ages a sector of pave appears
The 196.4km are broken into three loops:Boucles 1
, 56km, 1 lap
Flat with 2 of the 5 sprint pointsBoucles 2
, 99km, 1 lap
The final 3 sprint points are here along with the five mountain hotspots (65.4km, 76.2km, 82km, 96km, 120km). The 'climbs' range between 72 and 107m in height, so they're not going to trouble the fast men. This citcuit also has the 1.8km pave sector. In fact one of the climbs is on the pave at Artres which comes 82km into the race. Not sure what the condition of the pave is, but I've seen mention of tarmac so doubt we are talking Arenberg tombstones.Boucles 3
, 20.7km finishing circuit, 2 laps
Flat and not particularly technical, there is a roundabout at 2km to go. The final 5km dips slightly and should ensure a fast and straight run for the line.Start Listline up as of 11th April...
This is going to come down to a duel between ex team mates
Arnaud Demare and
Nacer Bouhanni. Expect a sprint train battle on a grand scale. Nacer comes fresh from a win in Paris Camebert and Arnaud from 6th at Paris Roubaix. Currently the reigning champion Dan McLay is not listed on the start sheet.
bring Thomas Boudat who was second last year and has looked fast this year. I'm not going to name all the sprinters, but check the start list and pick your favourite.Follow
French Eurosport from 2pm CET
Direct Velo will have a live tickerYeah, that's your basics...but OBVIOUSLY we're on tenterhooks to see what the organisers come up with for podium prizes... Can they beat the HUMONGOUS Camembert or the CUTE goat of cuteness... See that's a whole new Coupe de France category right there mes amis