Dierckxsens Wins GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise
Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet) has won the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise. The Belgian took a two-up sprint from Magnus Backstedt (Fakta) to win the 150.3-km race, the first one on the French road calendar, in 3:32:48. Stefano Casagranda (Alessio) won the sprint for third at 0:07.
The break of the day occurred early. At 15 km, Dierckxsens, Andrea Ferrigato and Casagranda (both from Alessio), Franck Renier and Walter Beneteau (both from Brioches La Boulangere), Pierrick Fedrigo (Credit Agricole), Backstedt, Nicolas Portal (Ag2r), and Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour) rolled off of the front. The peloton did not lift a pedal to stop the nine riders, and the break forged a 30-minute lead.
With six km remaining, Seigneur attacked his companions. They reeled him in, and Portal countered unsuccessfully. With four km left, Backstedt had a go on the downhill run to the finish in Aubagne. Dierckxsens caught the Swede in the last two km and easily won the uphill sprint in the sleet. Only 30 riders finished, and only the nine break members were official finishers.