The 31.3 kilometers of the route linking Hazebrouck to Cel, in the North, did not hold any big surprises, Thursday June 22. Expected to be at least on the podium, Cédrine Kerbaol and Rémi Cavagna have become, in Flanders, both French time trial champions.
If this is the first national title for the Breton, Rémi Cavagna wins him, after 2020, his second tricolor jersey of French champion of the clock. In 2021, he also won the road race for the French championships. The two riders were able to adapt to a demanding route, marked by the presence of three hills in the last ten kilometers. The last, that of the rue d’Aire, even offered a page at almost 16%.
The favorite status did not thrill Rémi Cavagna. Effective from the start of the course, the Clermontois never relaxed his efforts to win, comfortably, in 39’37”, at an average of 47.2 km/h. He is ahead of Bruno Amirail (32”), winner last year at Cholet, and Pierre Latour (1’12”).
The disappointment came from Benjamin Thomas (4e1’15”), who was hoping for a good performance in order to earn his place in the Cofidis team for the next Tour de France (from 1er to July 23). The Tarnais dropped precious seconds on the final climb of the course.
“It was a course that gave me an advantage, because it was only 31 kilometers long, analyzed Cavagna after his race, at the microphone of Eurosport. Usually, I leave too quickly, but there, I managed well. I am satisfied to have been able to accelerate 7 or 8 kilometers from the finish and not to have lowered this intensity. »
The first title of Cédrine Kerbaol
Rémi Cavagna’s Soudal Quick-Step team will have an opportunity on Sunday to win another French champion’s jersey in the road race, whose profile matches the punching qualities of Julian Alaphilippe.
A little earlier in the afternoon, Cédrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) won her first French time trial title. Third in the last two editions and winner of the Tour de Normandie in March, this victory confirms the great hopes placed in her.
The 22-year-old Breton, who came to the North “without pressure”, completed the course in 46’24”, at an average speed of 40.4 km/h. She relegated Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Human Powered Health), six-time champion of the specialty, to 18 seconds. Coralie Demay completes the podium, which includes the three announced favorites.