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French Inline Cup #1
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   Mru Oise, FRA
   Thursday, May 01, 2003

Caroline Bou wins the first stage of the French Inline Cup at Mru

Arnaud Gicquel finishes fourth right behind the major trio of Salomon World

by Vincent Esnault, Team Rollerblade France

The first stage of the French Inline Cup took place in the department of the Oise, 50 km north of Paris on May 1st. The large countryside circuit of 42 km was quite physical because of persistent wind and a hard up-hill circuit. The race course smiled at the Salomon team again in the Elite mens category whereas the young Rollerblade French skater, Caroline Bou, took a convincing victory during the final sprint in front of Caroline Lagre (Saab Salomon World) and Ghizlane Samir (PUC).

The womens race turned quickly into a mano a mano between four of them: after the fifteenth kilometre, Caroline Bou (Rollerblade France), Caroline Lagre (Saab Salomon World), Ghizlane Samir (PUC) and Linda Schellekens (le Cri du Kangourou team) managed to create a break and stay together until the final sprint. In the narrow finish line street of Ivry-le-Temple, Caroline Bou took the lead and sprinted in a long but persuasive speed. She was never passed and won in 1h25. It was the first victory of the season for Caroline, but surely not the last!

The mens marathon started right after the first kilometre with the attacks of Tristan Loy (VW SportXX): the Briton obviously wanted to tire the peloton. More than 200 skaters took the start but only about thirty remained after ten kilometres of racing. The Rollerblade French team of Pierre Garand, Sbastien Sergent and Vincent Esnault stayed in front of the pack in order to attack or make the tempo. Arnaud Gicquel (Helvetia Patria Rollerblade) was waiting for the best moment, taking care about the Salomon World team. He showed his strategy on the thirtieth kilometre, during a long up-hill of 1,5 km, when Franck Cardin attacked. The pack was broken and Arnaud stayed alone with three yellows and blacks ahead. Cardin went off again in the very last kilometres, on a physical and technical ground, and finished alone the marathon in 1h16. Arnaud finally arrived at the fourth place whereas Jrme Estrada and Vincent came in fast just behind, with Tristan Loy and Benot Perthuis (Rez OP). Sbastien and Pierre came right after in a row.

This beginning of season is positive for the reds. They came back with a victory and a good team race. In the mens ranking, the team is third after the first stage and just behind Salomon. They now have seven more chances to reverse the tendency! Rendez-vous in Lille in the north of France for the next stage of the French Inline Cup!

Top Finishers:

Men

  1. Franck Cardin (Salomon)
  2. Pascal Briand (Salomon)
  3. Juan Carlos Betancur (Salomon)
  4. Arnaud Gicquel (Helvetia Patria RB)
  5. Mathieu Boher (Salomon)
  6. David Guibert (Salomon)
  7. Benot Perthuis (Rez OP)
  8. Jrme Estrada (Rollerblade)
  9. Tristan Loy (VW SportXX)
  10. Vincent Esnault (Rollerblade).
Women
  1. Caroline Bou (Rollerblade)
  2. Caroline Lagre (Salomon)
  3. Ghizlane Samir (PUC)
  4. Linda Schellekens (CDK).

 

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