It ain’t over until its over!

9 Feb

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Thomas Voeckler of team Europcar won the opening stage of the Tour of the Mediterranean between Maubec-Coustellet and Pertuis, out-sprinting the rest of a five-man breakaway group. The French champion beat Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) on the line as Mangel raised his arms in the belief that he had won, with Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pomme Marseille) taking third at the end of the 120km stage.

Voeckler attacked right from the start and was soon joined by Mangel, Vaubourzeix, Javier Iriarte (Movistar) and Rémi Pauriol (FDJ). The group managed to build an advantage of 3’30”, but the sprinters’ teams began to pull them back and with 20km to go the lead had been cut to less than a minute.

With such a small advantage the break appeared to be doomed but the five riders persisted with their efforts and arrived at the finish with the peloton snapping at their heels. As they sprinted for the line Mangel thought that he had won and sat up to raise his arms; Voeckler was not beaten yet though and he threw his bike past the Saur-Sojasun rider to take the win by half a wheel. Thomas certainly has previous for this, if we cast our minds back to his brilliant performance at the GP in Quebec 2010  he struck at the final stages of the race.  As the old saying goes, it ain’t over until its over!

Photo credit – Cyclingfans.
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